I cross the Bridge of the Gods, hike 19 miles, and make camp at a creek. I mix up a dinner that includes the addition of many, many condiments. I sleep.
There is something on my face.
I brush it away. My hand makes contact with it, so I have an idea of its size. I sit up, get my headlamp, and shine it around.
I see you mini bear!
Figures, the minute I step into Washington, I have to contend with them. I don’t think I’ve been anywhere the mini bears as vicious as they are in my home state.
Mr. Mini Bear can’t find his way out. We look at each other, not really knowing what to do. I get a stuff sack, put it on like a mitten, and try to grab it. He’s gone into ninja-mode-Matrix-style and is everywhere in the tent at once – underneath me, clinging from the ceiling, running around the sides. I shine my headlamp around like crazy to find him. Oh, comedy. Finally, I grab him and in the same motion turn the sack inside out. I can feel his warm little body. I empty the sack outside the tent.
I lie back down and about 15 minutes later another mini bear, or the same one, is again running around in my tent. I work at grabbing him with the stuff sack and again toss him out the door. I lie back down, but immediately, mini bear. I build a ramp with my water bottle and clothes, unzip the door and work at escorting him out. I examine the tent and find the hole he chewed. I cover it in tape – though I know he can just chew another one. I take everything in my tent that’s not a sleeping bag or pad and put it in my pack outside. I pull my buff over my eyes.
Ok, mini bear, I’m too tired to play ninja dance party with you. Come in the tent, but just don’t walk so much on my face.