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[pct-l] Re: (pct-l) mini-bears

I can cite two mini-bear incidents in Zion, in Kolob Canyon.
   In the first incident a scout in our group hung his bag of food from
a long line in a tree.  The bottom of the bag was only a couple feet off
the ground.  The undetected mini-bear climbed down the string to the
bottom of the bag, cut a round hole in the bottom of the bag, climbed
inside and ate a golf ball size chunk of dry salami, from the middle of
the salami.
  In the second instance we left our food zipped in a tent while we took
a day hike.  A rodent made a hole in the side of the tent and chewed a
hole in a leather fanny pack that did not contain food.  He somehow
missed the food.

A third, minor incident occurred at Guitar Lake west of Mt. Whitney.  We
had leaned our frame packs together outside the door for the night, with
all pockets and flaps open.  We were awakened in the middle of the
clear, full-moon night to small rustling sounds, which turned out to be
mice playing Hickory DIckory Dock on our packs.  They did no damage.

Very early in my backpacking career I was making breakfast at Sturtevant
Camp in the San Gabriel Mtns and we started tossing bits of pancake to
the cute little ground squirrels.  We switched to throwing rocks when we
discovered that one of the cute little fellers had chewed a half dollar
size hole in my friend's pack.

While snacking on gorp at Vernal Fall, and again at Happy Isles in
Yosemite, squirrels would run into our laps and try to snatch gorp.
Again we had to resort to rock throwing to avoid being bitten.  While
sitting in camp at Little Yosemite Valley a squirrel chewed a hole in
another scout's pack.

We learned the term "mini-bears" in Boy Scouts.  I hadn't heard it
outside that circle but am delighted to know it is a term in wider use.

Marion Davison

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