"26 Miles Across the Sea . . . "

We took our annual Catalina Island trip and camped at the sea’s edge in Two Harbors. We snorkeled (I saw a starfish!) and kayaked, but the most memorable moment was when we sang “The Hamster Song” around the campfire. You might know this as “The Gambler” made famous by Kenny Rogers, but to our favorite four-year-old it’s the song his papa’s battery-operated hamster sings. You haven’t really enjoyed a campfire until you watch a four-year-old sing:

”You got to know when to hold ’em.
Know when to fold ’em.
Know when to walk away.
Know when to run.”

Nana had to explain “ . . . when the dealin’s done.” I guess a four-year-old doesn’t have prior knowledge on that experience, still Kenny Rogers would have been proud.

I'm Not Scared of No Bears . . . I'm Not Scared

We visited Yosemite in August staying at White Wolf in a tent cabin and in an historic cabin in the Valley. Both were interesting experiences, but the White Wolf bear attack might be the most memorable portion of the trip.

We attended a forest ranger campfire program on our first night where the ranger shared his “I’m Not Scared of No Bears, I’m Not Scared” rap. You had to be there to really get the full flavor, but trust me . . . I was soon singing it while taking my late night comfort walks as I tried to feel brave and clutched my flashlight. This rap was complemented by the second day’s ranger program on bears and the ranger’s confirmation that there was “bear activity” in the area.

While we were at White Wolf a bear tore into a heavy fenced area where garbage was collected. I heard the late-night ruckus with employees yelling and beating pots to scare the bear away. In the morning, we surveyed the impressive damage. The next night . . . a repeat performance. On our fourth night, we were stunned when we learned that a man left his tent cabin at night without his flashlight to go to his unlocked bear box . . . Can you say “Clueless?” A bear was making an evening buffet out of the man’s bear box and was startled when the man approached him. The bear gave the man a “bear hug” and the man was soon toted to the Valley’s hospital.

Moral of the story: Lock your bear box and use a flashlight. Please help keep bears wild (and you safe!).

The most amazing sight in Yosemite’s Valley this August? No water in Yosemite Falls. Can you imagine? Still, we had a fabulous time and have already made reservations for next year, but we’ll be returning to the Valley in May when the dogwood trees are in bloom.
Hmmm . . . silly me . . . I prefer dogwood blossoms over bear activity. Who would have guessed?