A mama bear, two cubs and a van | TheFencePost.com
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A mama bear, two cubs and a van

Our son Mark, wife Terri and five of their children had driven late into the night from their home in Denver to meet friends at Lake Tahoe. Trying to be quiet while setting up the tent in the dark took a lot of effort. As soon as the sleeping bags were unrolled, they all plopped down, planning on some good sleep.

Shortly after dozing off, Mark heard loud voices, so he looked out and saw several men with flashlights talking about a bear in his van. He’s always wanted to see a bear up close, but seeing a big bear inside the van was too close for comfort. Some other campers brought their cars up, turned their bright lights on and laid on their horns, trying to scare the bear out of the van.

Mark’s family huddled inside the tent, too scared to venture out. The little girls loudly protested about all the noise because all they wanted to do was sleep.



Shining a light inside the van window gave them all a reason to laugh. One little cub had found a bag of potato chips and was eating one, then politely passing one back to his twin. They were content with this snack and looked no further for more food.

After what seemed like an eternity, mama bear climbed out the window that she had pried open and called her babies to follow her. Just then a Park Ranger appeared, carrying a big stick that he banged on the ground to urge the marauders to leave the campground. The twins bounced along behind their mama as she headed into the woods.



Mark lamented that he hadn’t brought his camera out of the tent as he thanked the other campers for their help. The hinges on the window were sprung, so he taped it shut with Duct tape, his ‘handy man’s favorite tool’ before he went back into the tent. He zipped up the tent flap, then assured the family that the bears were gone, trying not to alarm them with his thoughts that they could well return.

In the morning after they fixed breakfast they stored their food in one of the bear proof boxes that was provided for each campsite. That job done, one of the girls said, “Dad, why didn’t you use the remote door opener on your key? Then mama bear would’ve had a big opening to leave by instead of squeezing through the window.”

“Now you come up with great advice, I didn’t think of it in all the excitement,” said Mark. “You’re the one who is always taking pictures, where were you with your camera?”

Just another memory that will become a legend in the family vacation archives.


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