"I hope we see a bear" I thought to myself as we neared the National Park.
We blew through the entrance gates before the rangers and were the first family to arrive at Bridal Veil falls. After a quick hike, breakfast and tour though the visitors center we decided to find a place where the girls could splash around in the Merced River.
The spot we found, was adjacent to the main road. As the girls scrambled over the rocks, I went back to the car to retrieve the dog. It was really beautiful. Breathtakingly amazing. We swam. We sunned. We even coaxed the dog into a brief dip in the frigid waters. Later we were sitting on our blanket when Lula suddenly exclaimed, "Bear!"
Do you see it? I've never seen a bear in the wild before and my biggest thought was that they look remarkably like the ones you stuff at the Build-A-Bear factory. I swear, I wanted to just run up and throw my arms around it and bury my nose in its softness.
Except common sense told me, that bears like to eat little dogs, children and an occasional grown woman. Common sense did not tell me however, that bears might also like a little doggie kibble and one should not leave the dogs bowl next to the car half-full of Chihuahua Chow.
A major foible on my part. Our car was marked with sandy prints from the black bear -all four doors and even the back hatch. I'm thankful it didn't try to get into the car or that the dog was in the car. Or a thousand other things that could have gone wrong. After realizing it was my fault for leaving food out, I felt like the word's biggest naturalist fail. John Muir would not be proud.