Thursday, April 3, 2014

Those Darn Bears Again

Expectant Sarah
I'm home again.  Following a wonderful baby shower last Saturday for daughter Sarah (pictures to come in another post), we headed back up into the mountains again for several days to check on the building progress of our new lodge and to relax a bit.

We've been getting up there roughly every 10 to 14 days or so, and each time it is exciting to see what has been completed since last time.  Currently the workers are installing the logs both internally on some of the walls and externally.  At 300 pounds each, it is no small feat to lift and secure one of those logs.

This time we noted that all bathroom toilets and showers are installed, along with the hardware on the cabinetry.  Although the plumbing is not yet functional, it is getting easier to see the end in sight.

Ground breaking for this new lodge began way back in July of 2013, and unbelievably, the construction team has worked all through the winter.  Some say this has been the hardest winter since 1993-4 in terms of temperatures and snowfall.  Our contractor is estimating a completion date of April 28th.  We will see.  There is still quite a bit to be done, but as I said earlier, each week shows much progress.  There is certainly a lot of anticipation among us for that moving in day to arrive.

This time we didn't need the snowmobiles to take us back in to our old cabin.  The snow was mostly melted and so our trucks did just fine on those roads.  There are just a few patches of snow and ice still there in places, and a bit of snow remaining in the shady areas of the woods.

Cooking was easy this trip.  We just brought along all those yummy leftovers from the baby shower, and that made the task of putting meals together fairly simple.  It will be so amazing to have running hot water and a dishwasher in our new lodge, making clean up that much easier.

About the biggest excitement happened during our last night there.  A bear arrived during the night and made his presence known by rubbing, scratching, and biting the wood on the back wall of our cabin.  This has happened many times before, but is always somewhat unnerving.  It's a little hard to go back to sleep when you know a bear is right outside your window, making a snack of your cabin.

Because of the aggressive nature of some of these bears, long ago we had metal bars installed on the windows.  In case of a fire inside requiring a window exit, it is easy to turn a handle and swing the bars out and away from the cabin.  As for the two entrances, we have an interior "bear bar" which locks horizontally across each door at nighttime.

I trudged around back of the cabin to try to get pictures of the bear's latest markings, but frankly it was hard to tell which marks were the latest ones.  All we know is that bear arrived at about midnight, and then came back again around 4 AM.  Over the years the bears have surely made a mess of the wood on various parts of the cabin.  I imagine that right now they are fairly hungry, just having come out of hibernation after such a long winter.  I would not want to tangle with one of them now.

I paid a small price for my trek around back of the cabin.  I felt a stinging sensation between my upper thighs and looked down to find the source of my troubles:

As I picked them off one by one, I was reminded of a funny incident about a year ago when my granddaughter Tori, then about 6, found herself covered with burrs after a little hike in the woods.  After a major bout of screaming and hysteria, we were finally able to convince her that they were not spiders and help her to remove them.  

It was a good time there in the woods, and all around there were signs of new life.

Perhaps Spring has, indeed, sprung.  I certainly hope so.  It's been a long, long winter.


  1. Sarah is beautiful. Bear damage - not so much. I hadn't thought about the bear bars on the windows. That's a great idea.

  2. yikes. . .now that is a little close for comfort!


  3. Bears can be a problem. One time in our camp in western PA, we kept things in containers in the spring to keep them cool. The bears would come and clean us out. They would lick the butter containers clean.