Tuesday, August 19, 2008






This is where I've been...





6000 feet up a rocky canyon - King's Canyon located in Sequoia National Park to be exact. It was a long drive (7 hours one way) through the hot central valley of California with no air conditioning in the truck.


We were happy to spend Saturday with my Dad on his birthday, along with his Wife & two Grandkids , my 5 Cousins, my Brother, my Son and his Wife, my Bear and his two Daughters and his Mom! We buried two lamb roasts (one with garlic, one without) in a pit of hot coals and dirt where it cooked for 3 hours. When we dug it up - man alive, it was so delicious that it all disappeared in the twinkling of an eye. Tobin relished the bone as we all sat around the campfire roasting marshmallows & telling stories, and looking out for the bears.




The evening cooled down a bit, and we slept with our tent fly off so we could see the stars. We were hoping to see the meteor showers, but the full moon nixed any chances of that.



We DID see two bears - a baby one the first night, furtively sneaking through the upper camp in the dark, and a large bear the following night, which actually stole a loaf of bread from the camp next to us. Unfortunately, that camp next to us was very enthusiastic about following the ranger-recommended proceedures for bear sightings which is making lots of noise and motion in order to scare the bear away.


I wanted a picture.

27 comments:

Doug said...

Well, those pictures will do nicely but I understand. I've never had a camera and a wild bear together in the same place and would like to. Well, except in Chicago and Sacramento.

Fred said...

The pictures are beautiful. Glad you had good time with your dad.

I haven't been camping in probably 30 years. I used to love it.

Ariel the Thief said...

Your photos keep stunning me. I love the last one the most. Thank you for sharing!

Ariel the Thief said...

I read the writing too! Happy to hear the wonderful family meeting. :-)

yellowdog granny said...

don't know which i enjoyed more..the camping story or the terrific pictures..which were just ....terrific....

sister celtic said...

Oh terry wow beautiful and I could feel like i was there with you and the fam.. I love the lamb in the coals.. We use to bring up Big 3 inch Porterhouse Steaks Baked Potato etc. and grill at some BBQ spot on a clif... Are the little marmits still there? Squirls... Hey
E-mail me at Geo's pewter mine is down and tell us how you did the lamb will you. I know how to cook a Kangaroo but not lamb..Had to help Matthew w/ a report on Aborigenese so I got that down and no use for it..

Tom & Icy said...

You wanted a picture, and you got some fantastic ones.

Dr.John said...

Those are great pictures. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. Better no picture and no bear bites than a picture and a bear attack.

tsduff said...

Doug - You called that one. That particular Bear can be very wild at times, although when in cities such as Chicago and Sacramento he tames down somewhat.

Fred - I bet you would pick it up again just like riding a bike. Why not go next weekend?

Ariel The Thief - Here is some icewater - didn't mean to leave you stunned... Funny, I was going to leave the last one (picture) out. It was a beautiful campfire on a beautiful night. There is really nothing much better than getting together with family and friends under the stars and cedar campfire smoke.

Yellowdog Granny - I admit it truly was all good - except for the part I didn't mention where my Dad's wife got lost taking a curly road up to the camp (the longer, "scenic" route)... then she passed the campsite twice in the dark... making her trip a 10 hour long ride instead of the usual 5. She was madder than a hornet when she finally arrived after midnight Friday night, and quite peeved with the whole entire camping business.

tsduff said...

Sister Celtic - My Joe made a movie of it... a mini documentary actually ;) I'll send you a copy when I get mine okay? How was the um... kangaroo? Not so sure I would like that. Ummm, porterhouse always sounds great. I bbq'd a tri tip as well, but didn't bury it. No scraps left - all the potatos, home grown onions and carrots in the dutch oven disappeared too! We had a hungry crew.

Tom & Icy - A great big ole bear picture would have been nice. I did snap one picture of the big one, but all I got was the tail end of him sticking out from behind a tree in the dark. Grrrrrrrr.

Dr. John - *sigh* True - I'd rather have my tangibles intact than a picture after all.

actonbell said...

I know I overuse this word, but-WOW. These pictures are stunning, and the food sounds mighty good, too. I miss camping.

SOe said...

Sorry, that you didn´t got the picture of the real wild bear. But it still looks as if you had a great time. I love the last picture!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Just how many bears do you want in your life? :)

Thanks for sharing the trip and pictures with us.

G-Man said...

Speaking of bear bites........

david santos said...

Well, great pictures!!!
You are Master!!!!


Phelps, congratulations!!!
"08-08-08" Olympc Games!!!

Agnes Mitchell said...

Hello beautiful woman! 6000 feet up would make me lightheaded! What a wonderful trip with the family!

Yes, losing Randy was a phenomenal loss for the world but our loss is barely noticeable compared to that of his wife and children. My heart breaks for her daily.

Sorry I've been off for so very long. The days do pass quickly. I need to post a happier blog for people passing by. I hate seeing the current title in my e-mail inbox.

I am glad to hear of your recent trip (with pics! YAY!) and hope that is a sign that all is well in your world.

Great big bear hugs to you and yours. I think of you often. :)
Much love,
Aggie

Claire said...

I love Kings Canyon! We were in Desolation Wilderness a few weeks ago and we saw nary a bear. All the trash dumpsters are locked down tight. When backpacking you have to store your food in a tree with a counterweight cuz da bears have figured out how to pull down the rope otherwise. When those bears figure out how to shoot, we're all in big trouble!

McRaven said...

Beautiful post...I want to go camping so bad! I'm picking up a cylinder this week-end to mail you the painting. :)

Mo'a said...

Wonderful photos and description of you camping. I would be glad for a lot of noise rather than meeting up with a wild bear.
The Lamb sounds delicious...with or without garlic :)

ebezp said...

Terry your photos are brilliant and love how descriptive you are.

THERE’S AN AWARD FOR YOU OVER HERE

G-Man said...

Terry....
((HUGS))..To one of my oldest blogging friends...G

tsduff said...

Actonbell - everything is always better camping... the air smells good, the food is tastier, appetites are bigger, the river water is colder and the campfires... well, they are perfect for roasting marshmallows. You should go.

SOe - I guess the pictures I have in my head of the bear will have to do. That last picture was taken around the campfire - of the giant cedar trees illuminated by the fire's glow. It was a beautiful night.

Lone Grey Squirrel - LOL! Well, there are bears, and then there is BEAR. They differ greatly ;)

Galen - Some bites are worth savoring :)

David Santos - I like the sound of that.

Aggie - The room just lit up when you walked in. I'm so happy to hear from you. Yes, the time does pass fast - except when one is sitting at a desk at 9am... 5:30pm seems so far away. You'd do fine up in the mountains - the clear air refreshes one's soul. Hugs to you - looking forward to dropping by again for a new update and that cup of coffee :)

Claire - That is a gorgeous place to backpack. You probably saw no bears because they were all down in the campground at Tahoe looking for handouts like the ones we saw in King's Canyon. I remember caching our food with a rope and tree once in Mineral King, and a bear walked right over my brother as he slept. We found the footprints the next morning right by his head.

McRaven - I hope you go camping soon, while summer still has kindly weather. I'm looking forward on pins and needles to getting your artwork - really, I can hardly believe you are sending me one. You are so generous Ms Raven Princess.

Mo'a - Those bears which wander in the parks are definitely wild - but generally behave rather tamely when looking to find food in the campgrounds. Oh, and that lamb was fabulous - all of it! There were no leftovers.

EBEZP - Long time no see. From one picture-taker to another - thanks :) And oh boy - I'll be right over.

Galen - Ahem... I don't know about "oldest"... that doesn't sound exactly right LOL! I'll settle for long-time bud :)

jeff@sally said...

I am expecting you to bring some lamb with you next summer on our family Yellowstone camping trip. Hint hint. Since I couldn't come last weekend with everyone! I am sad for Bev. How frustrating that must have been to be lost for so long.

texlahoma said...

Nice pics. It's been too long since I went camping.

Will Doohan said...

beautiful Pictures, glad you had a good time. Wish I had been there!

Jamie Dawn said...

No bear pics, but I sure like the pics you got.
What a lovely trip. I'm so glad you enjoyed it with so many family members.
I'm not a big fan of camping, but campfires are something I really enjoy.
What a gorgeous place!

YogaforCynics said...

Lovely pictures, especially the ones looking up at the trees--not an angle that's used much, but it certainly takes me back to my time in the redwoods, oh, way too long ago....