There is just something magical about Yosemite. It’s not just special to me but to my whole family. As a child I spent many of my vacations in Yosemite. I knew it pretty well. I loved watching my kids discover Yosemite and fall in love with it as I had.
We were spending a few days in Yosemite in the fall. Our camp was set up and the older kids were free to wander. The standing rule was never go where you can’t see our camp. Heidi, Robin, and Adam began to explore. I noticed them looking at a couple spots near some bushes.
The kids checked out the river and called to horses stabled across the river. Then they went back to the spots they’d previously been studying. After a few minutes I went to them curious to see what they’d found. As I approached I called ahead, “What are you guys looking at?”
Adam looked at me grinning. I know he was remembering how I’d hide or bury failures from the kitchen in the fields. The kids had discovered piles of something that looked like my Goulash Casserole. Adam blurted out, “Looks like somebody made a big pot of your Goulash, nobody like it and they all dumped their plates over here. It must have been a lot because it’s everywhere!”
They were poking at the piles with sticks trying to identify the ingredients. Adam said, “It looks kind of like that stuff you make us eat!”
We all stared and bent in for a closer look. The only thing I could really identify was what looked like chunks of apples.
Slowly I realized just what it was the kids were poking with sticks. I said, “What’s across the river growing in those apple trees?” They all answered at the same time, “Apples.” I said, “What eats apples and lives in Yosemite?” They all looked like I’d ask them to solve the hardest puzzle of the universe. There was silence as each waited for the other to answer. Then all three of them, at the same time, answered, “Bears.”
They still hadn’t quite caught on to what they were playing with until I said, “So, bears in Yosemite eat apples when they are ripe. They eat lots of apples. They eat apples until there are no more apples to eat. What happens when you eat too many apples?”
Heidi and Robin realized at the same moment what I was suggesting. They screamed, “Bear poop!” at the same time and backed away like it was poison. Adam continued poking at the piles trying to find out what else the bears might be eating.
It had to be a boy – girl difference. The girls wouldn’t go near it again. Adam, on the other hand, claimed the bear poop as one of his grand discoveries while on that Yosemite trip.