What the Bear Ate for Dinner (and Didn’t)

We hope our carelessness didn’t harm the bear. (Photo credit: Carol S. Bock)

What the Bear Ate for Dinner

5 apples
4 ears sweet corn
4 spicy Tofurkey sausages
2 Italian hot brats
¼ lb. veggie sandwich meat
½ lb. sliced smoked turkey
½ lb. sliced salami
½ lb. sliced Swiss cheese
½ lb. Colby-jack cheese
1 container jalapeno cream cheese spread


What the Bear Didn’t Eat

1 peach
1 bag Clementines
1 bottle Sriracha mayonnaise
1 package spicy Boca Burgers
2 cans Coca Cola
2 bottles New Belgium 1554


The back story: The morning of July 27, 2017, while camping in the Rock Mountains, our family wakened to the sight of food wrappers littering the ground. Surely, we thought, a nearby camp must have been raided by a bear. It couldn’t have been our camp, after all, because our SUV looked just as it had when we’d hit the sack the night before. Its doors were still shut, the lids of our two big coolers in the rear of the vehicle were still closed, only—

The heavy blanket meant to conceal the coolers from snooping animal eyes was now in a heap, filthy from muddy paws.

We’d apparently forgotten to lock the SUV’s doors. Our nighttime visitor had opened one of them, climbed over the seats into the back, dug into the coolers and proceeded to feast as we slept.

Either that bear was incredibly courteous, or a park ranger later closed the door of the SUV. We found a park citation on one of our camp chairs. In the checklist of infractions, the ranger had marked the box beside “Please secure all food items in bear boxes.” Handwritten at the bottom were the words, “I guess this is self-explanatory.”