“Hey, Bear” by Graham T. Beck, The Morning News
Lovely story on the always lovely “The Morning News” today about the dangers of camping – specifically, the dangers of camping in Yellowstone as a teenager getting ready for college with a film canister full of pot.
“Bears up there,” the Ranger said, glancing at our backcountry travel permit before tipping his broad-billed hat and ushering us out of his cramped station.
He didn’t caution us, or quiz us, or check our gear, or show us a pictogram of a car-sized beast licking brains from a pulverized human skull—and I can’t guarantee that even those warnings would have kept us from our 10-day hiking trip through Yellowstone National Park during what I’ve only recently learned was the peak of grizzly bear season.
We were just out of high school. We were constantly stoned. We traveled in an ode to that particular brand of privileged American adventure, the cross-country drive, funded in equal parts by savings from crappy after-school jobs at a camping store and graduation money from loving parents. In the fall, we’d both start at fancy colleges: Tim to Stanford, on his way to a pair of dad jeans and the hedge fund life in Silicon Valley, and me, to Vassar and non-profits and Brooklyn and waxing sentimental about stuff I did 15 years ago.