-- By Jason Adelson and Anne Arnaud
© 2000, RPK&A, Inc.
The weather is getting better--better quit our minimum-wage jobs and head to the woods. But college has done us in, we're both confirmed caffeine junkies, so the first two days of our trip are spent in oceanside coffee shops. We're on a budget, so the plan is to camp in national forests since it's free.
Driving: "Can you look on the map to see if there's a national forest coming up soon?"
"Sure...yes...wait, Grizzly Butte...why is that called Grizzly Butte?"
"I don't know... it's just the name of the butte, that's all."
"Isn't a grizzly a bear? You didn't tell me we were going to camp in bear country!"
"Don't worry, there are no more grizzlies in California."
"Where are they?"
"Alaska... Canada... Montana and Wyoming."
"Wyoming? That's very close to here! You never said there were bears here!"
"Well, it's true there are probably some black bears."
"BLACK BEARS! OH MY GOD! What's that?"
This poor French girl, she's scared shitless, I guess they don't have anything like this in France.
"Calm down, it's very unlikely we'll see one."
"But there's still a chance, right?"
"Maybe... no... they're scared of humans, there's nothing to be afraid of, we just need to have a neat kitchen, you know, don't leave any food lying around, and then tie our food up in a tree..."
"Why do we need to tie our food in a tree?"
"Because some bears are familiar with human food and like it, so they might smell our food and come to get it... in which case we need to keep it away from them... and us... so a bear doesn't come into our tent... yeah... might even want to keep anything that smells out of the tent...like peppermint toothpaste."