I was searching through my back-up hard drive looking at old photos. And I stumbled upon shots from the last time Carole and I went tent camping. This was in summer of 2005. We were staying at the Standing Indian Campground, which is a National Forest facility not far from Franklin, NC.
The bear population in that part of the state is extremely heavy. There are as many (or more) bears there than in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. And that's an impressive number. Understanding that, we were always very careful with food and garbage. We stored all food in the back of our truck, and garbage went into the bear-proof receptacles located all around the campground.
This was our site (#13) at Standing Indian Campground in the mountains of North Carolina. This was probably the day before the bear raided us.
However, a bear who did not know this raided our campsite one night. He was quite the large fellow and proceeded to smash things apart and make himself the resident alpha male. I scared him off, initially, by coming out of the tent during his midnight raid with a flashlight and yelling, "Go away, bear!". He did go away, for a short while, but came right back to finish what he'd started. I wasn't going to try facing him down again, so we retreated to the cab of the truck. When I started the engine, he finally fled for good.
Well, not quite for good. He showed up again within thirty minutes, but was happy to harass the campsites adjacent to ours and leave us alone.
We really had the tent camping thang down to a science. We had everything we needed. Alas, the bears scairt us!
Well, that was our last tent camping trip. After that we shopped around for a few months (two months to be precise) and bought our treasured Casita trailer, which we've named ZOLOFT, due to the fact that I refer to it as our fiberglass sedative.
At any rate, here are shots from that very last trip with our tent set-up. (Which was pretty nice, I have to say.)
Ah, the luxury of our little travel trailer. Now we can play in the sun all day, then retire to the trailer and eat ice cream from the freezer and feel safe inside our solid fiberglass walls. Just don't tell the bears that they can probably break in without much trouble.