The bear had been seen along a forest service road on the south side of I-90 close to Snoqualmie Pass. Warning signs were posted throughout the area warning campers.
We were camping off that road ourselves during the summer of 2017 while we looked for land to call our new home. We were living in the little trailer we’d bought after selling our house in the city of Snoqualmie (not to be confused with the pass)
My husband and I were taking this road back to camp when we spotted a truck parked just off the road with the tailgate down. No one was in sight and a bear was ransacking the occupant’s camp circle at the end of the open tailgate.
Since we didn’t see anyone we were worried about the owner of the vehicle. We pulled over and the bear took off. I very carefully crept up to the truck hoping I wasn’t about to see a blood bath. I got close enough to peak into the back and into the shell.
There was a man asleep but very much alive in the back! His feet had been mere inches away from where the bear had been destroying his goods. I woke him up and told him what had happened. Can you imagine if he had woken up? No where to go as there was a canopy on the bed. How lucky was this guy?
Our family has camped in the Snoqualmie National Forest for over 20 years and have indeed run into a bear who repeatedly came in to our campsite to raid our supplies; even after the first encounter after which we stored our food in our car.
The morning after we put most of our food elsewhere, we still had some canned goods in our campsite. The bear came and bit into a can of spaghettios and sucked all of the juice out of it through the tooth holes. They’re not stupid when it comes to goodies. We reported the bear to Fish and Game and I believe they may have relocated it.
Bear will do anything to get at food; even inside a car. I heard a story recently about a bear who ransacked a guy’s rental vehicle. I mean trashed it after he’d been warned not to store food inside.
We now carry bear spray wherever we go for protection from cougar also. There was a recent story about two men who were mountain biking near North Bend, not far from where we used to camp regularly. They were attacked by a cougar, one of them ran, and he was killed by the animal. This was just months ago.
We now live in an area where we never know what might come up to our door step. We live in their space now. A neighbor had a bear attack her dog in their carport a few years ago.
The lesson to all this? Bear will search and destroy to get to your food. We don’t go into the woods any more without a can of bear spray. If those cyclists had been carrying some, the end of that story would most likely have been different.