A Pacific Northwest Photography Blog

Be Bear Aware

Leave nothing odorous about! Caution is needed for those entering black bear country. Campers and park visitors need to know how to secure their campsites to make them less attractive to bears. This sign giving the first warning was displayed boldly at the White River entrance to Mount Rainier National Park. These signs would be well posted around the communities in the Cascade foothills where black bears encounter everyday life in the northwest. On this day, though we are in alpine country and we drove to the end of the road at 6,400 feet in elevation at Sunrise Lodge, picnic area and trail heads, we enjoyed our picnic lunch in the hot sunshine sharing bits with the ‘Camp Robbers,’ (Gray Jays) who came to beg. Then we descended to about 4,000 feet to the White River Campground where a sign at each site, warned not to leave any food, dishes, cooking utensils, cooking oil/grease, garbage, even personal items like toothpaste, soap and deodorant about which might attract unwanted guests, ie: bears! We enjoyed our mint cookies and hot coffee at a picnic table in the campground before heading back down the mountain and home again, encountering no bears, thankfully!

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16 Responses to Be Bear Aware

  • Glad you made it back to the city in one piece 🙂
    Although i visit Washington State on a regular basis, it has been some years since i went to ‘Mount Tacoma’

    • Interesting that you call Mount Rainier ‘Mount Tacoma,’ as the Native American name for it is ‘Tahoma.’ Yes, glad we didn’t have a surprise visit!

  • “Be Bear Aware” is hard to say the first time you see it in writing! We had a bear in Greensboro for a couple of weeks. He was hanging out in neighborhoods. It met its demise when it was found on the runway of the airport and had to be “put down” as they say in the south.

    Love yesterday’s playful day of summer shot!

    Janis
    Greensboro Daily Photo

  • Have done quite a bit of backpacking… know the routine or expect ‘visitors’. hahahaha

  • We get those pesky ‘drop bears’ downunder. Also love your beach capture yesterday – beats mine hands down!

  • A night-time surveillence video of a black bear at the local Tim Hortons Donuts made the national news last week – around here we need to be “bear aware” in our community. I always carry a “bear banger” when I go for hike on any of the local trails.

    • We’ve had some of those close encounters around the Cascade foothills too… I still think I’d be surprised… the only time I saw one up close was up-ended in a garbage can outside the restroom in the middle of the night at a campground in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming (when I was 13)… that was enough… lol!

  • There are lots of bears in the Sierras in California. When we lived there we were often shocked that people were so clueless about leaving things out overnight. A neighboring campsite in Yosemite was once torn apart in the middle of the night — food had been left all over. The bears were hard to ignore. That evening we had walked past a large cub on our way to the bathrooms. One piece of literature we saw about “be bear aware” had a chilling picture of a car door that had been pried open by bear claws. It looked like a can of sardines!

    • Yeah… they are incredibly strong… wouldn’t want to rely upon a car or camp trailer for my only protection!

  • Goodness me, it sounds quite alarming! Fortunately we have nothing more ferocious than squirrels over here.

  • I had a few bear encounters when I lived in Alaska but here in Connecticut I haven’t seen a one. Kinda miss that I suppose!

    • A fellow I used to work with, worked for Seattle Stevedore in Alaska, and they used to go to the dump and watch the bears for entertainment… did you do that??

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I've been publishing 'The View From Right Here' in one form or another since 2007. I hope you find images you enjoy from my travels around Seattle, Puget Sound and the greater Pacific Northwest, giving you a glimpse of the beautiful region of the United States of America, where I have always lived.
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Madge Bloom
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