We camped in the national forest near Snoqualmie Pass during the summer of 2017 while we looked for property to buy. It was a popular area and most of the spots were full at that time of year.
Every now and then, a bear will discover that food is readily available in these places and will take advantage of the smorgasbord. One had been seen going up and down the road so the Forest Service had posted warning signs.
My husband and I were driving back to camp one afternoon when we spotted a truck parked just off the road with the tailgate down. There, a bear was happily rummaging through the truck owner’s goods – his dinner, perhaps.
We pulled over. The bear took off and 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 ransacking through his supplies.
I woke him up and told him what had happened. Can you imagine if he had woken up while the bear was at work? He would have had no where to go.
Our family has had our own bear encounters.
One year one kept coming into our campsite so we moved our food to the car with the exception of some canned goods. We learned that cans don’t stop bears when we woke up to find it with a can crushed in its mouth, enjoying the contents through the holes it had bitten.
It continued to cruise the campsites so we called Fish and Game. I don’t know what they did about it.
We now carry bear spray wherever we go.
Recently, two men who were mountain biking near North Bend, not far from where we used to camp, were attacked by a cougar. One of them ran, and was subsequently killed. . This was just months ago.
We now live in much closer proximity to predators.
A couple of years ago, a bear attacked a neighbor’s dog in her carport and she beat it away. There are wolf packs in the area that are being tracked for conservation efforts. They have been killing livestock which has lead to ongoing friction between the conservationists and the ranchers.
Be prepared if predators may be around: make noise so you don’t surprise an animal, be aware of your surroundings, store all food away from yourself, and carry a firearm or bear spray.
If you’re not careful, you may not be as lucky as the guy in the back of the truck.