Sunday, September 18, 2011

Camping in Bear Country Just a Question

We have a favorite camping spot up above Arnold on Hwy 4 called Golden Pines RV park. It's about a mile past Calaveras Big Trees State Park. The front of the RV Park had enough plastic flowers, fake rock waterfalls and gnomes decorating yards in permanent spaces to make one wonder why the owners bother to live in an area that has real waterfalls, wildflowers and redwoods.
The tent campers are in a beautiful wooded area down the hill from RV sites. No gnomes in sight. Whew.
Each time we check in to camp, I always ask about recent bear activity. Response this year, there were a couple of bears early in the year trying to get into the dumpsters, but nothing since May. Garbage is picked up each night at 8 pm and campers told not to leave food out. There are no bear, snake, tick, lyme disease, rodent warnings posted anywhere. Owners keep dogs on leash and clean up after them. We love camping there.
We hadn't been to Calaveras Big Trees for many so decided to visit using one of our free park passes. Just an aside State parks do accept donations to help keep them open. Thank you gift is free day passes. Gee that's good business.
We were given a park guide and dog regs. All dogs must be on a 6' leash and cannot go on any trails. Strict regs for dogs, as explained in a pamphlet from Gov Schwartz... are because the dogs may frighten wildlife, get bit by a snake, cause disease in the wildlife, attract ticks, contaminate water supply, fall off a cliff and get injured, and some people are frightened by dogs. There are bear garbage cans, bear lockers, warning signs for bears, snakes, ticks, lyme disease, and rodent diseases. We drove through the park and walked on the fire roads. Missed the main attractions since Sam the dog, our 14 lb water contaminating, people scaring, tick attracting, injury prone dog was not allowed near the really big trees.

Two questions.
First why are there so many more bears, snakes, ticks, rodents, dog fearing people in a state campsite than in a private one a mile away? Do adults and children not frighten animals, get bit by snakes, fall and injure themselves, get lyme disease, come home with ticks and contaminate the water system.? I know my husband must have contaminated many a water system while camping and fishing.
Secondly, why would a person who is afraid of a dog on a leash even bother to camp in a campsite that warns of bears, snakes, ticks, lyme disease, falling off cliffs?
I'm sticking to my private campsite with plastic flowers, gnomes and fake rock waterfalls. Apparently there are fewer risks and cleaner water.

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