Things cook a lot faster when you actually turn your oven on.

I’m back.
I’ll admit I’m more than slightly depressed.
I’ll also admit everything is unpacked except my box of clothes. I fully expect it to sit there for another week before I get around to it. Don’t judge me.

And so we begin.

What I did on my summer vacation:
1. I did NOT see any bears.

There are many ways NOT to see a bear on your vacation. My recommendation for seeing a bear in its natural habitat…perhaps with some young cubs running nearby…my suggestion is to NOT take me with you. I assure you, my absence will all but guarantee that you will see one or two or seven of these magnificent creatures.

Proof 1: Set up camp in campsite #36 before dark. Leave for a beautiful scenic drive at dusk- say, 5pm. Return around 8pm. Meet the Park Ranger. “Didja happen to see the black bear wander through camp- over near site #30- around 5:30pm today? They say it was gorgeous.” Make note to snag site #30 tomorrow when the group leaves.

Proof 2: Stop for ice cream in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Fight with an Indian man over the correct pronunciation of chocolate. Continue on our way for about 100 meters when we aree stopped by 100 people returning to their 30 cars on the side of the road. “ Whaddja just see???” we asked. “Oh, we’ve been watching a grizzly and her 3 cubs for the last hour. She was awesome.” Curt assures me there will be many more chances.

Proof 3: Get excited when hiking and see a pile of *ahem* fresh evidence on the trail in Glacier. Be alert. Hike another mile. Stop on side of trail and console child who is falling apart and will have no more of this ‘hiking crap.’ Send brother and husband back down trail to fetch cars. Meet boys up above at road. “Guess what- when we ran back down, we scared up this little baby cub and he jumped and he grabbed onto the tree on the side of the trail and we scooted past before his mamma could come!” Sulk.

Proof 4: Send brother and sister-in-law out for pickles and some hard cider. The bear thing is really starting to get to me. They return with camera in hand…and, fortunately, some Hornsby’s. “Look! You shoulda’ come to the grocery store! On the way back this little guy was sitting on the side of the road just waiting for us!” Grumble.

Proof 5: Send husband, father, brother, and sister-in-law on Glacier hike. Stay behind to re-introduce Rylie to the world of slumber. Eat lunch at local diner. Notice a sign on counter saying the Glacier hike is closed due to 7 bear sightings. Head back to camp. Realize all our gear has been confiscated for “being attractive to bears- please pay $75 to have it returned you idiot tourists.” I was going to explain that I am natural bear repellant, but she didn’t look game AND had a loaded side arm. Look at sister-in-law’s pictures from the abbreviated Glacier hike and see, of course, a bear. Humph.

Proof 7: Arrive home after 27 hours of driving- and no bears for KatieKate– and are greeted by our neighbor. “Yep…’s pretty quiet while y’all were gone ‘cept for the black bear that walked down the road and into our back woods. Best keep Abe inside for awhile. He was a big one.” Of course he was.

I made a pound cake today. Can’t say I’ve ever made a pound cake before…let alone in a bundt pan, but hey. I can be a baker if I wanna. I can decide to like cake. I can take a break from bread (but not for long) and add eggs to the mix. I’m 30 now. I put a little stream of strawberry puree around the bottom for a teeny surprise. Oh, the goodness of this cake- I cannot even tell you. Make it by following these directions. Make sure you turn the oven ON. Skipping this step has been known to add up to 2 hours of cooking time. Sheesh.

Off to look for more bears…


About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

15 responses to “Things cook a lot faster when you actually turn your oven on.

  • Jessica, Myron and Rylie

    Myron would like you to come to our house please. We have a local bear. Got into our trash last week and our neighbors last night. Please come…we do not like the bear. ….

    I will be back later I simply forgot what I was going to say!

  • Lia

    If it makes you feel any better I didn’t see any bears on my vacation either.

  • miss christine

    On the brighter side, you have the cutest little girl on the planet, I’m almost completely convinced. Also, I think you should know that my top three fears include:

    1. People I love dying
    2. Tornadoes
    3. BEARS (no, I’m not kidding)

    So some of us would LOVE to have you on a trip! 🙂

  • Aunt Ron

    How cute is that picture of her, I could just squeeze those little cheeks… Glad you had fun and are back safe and sound, Oh Rose thinks they have a baby bear in her yard.. Sorry just thought you might want to know that…

  • janna

    welcome home! guess what? by some freakish coincidence, brown bear was the book listed on peanut’s library when i first logged on. but don’t worry, this is the closest i’ve come to a bear sighting in a long time.

  • Mom

    I didn’t get to see any bears either. Just pretend the marmots were little bears…we saw lots of marmots! love, mom

  • Cortneytree

    Yay katiekate is back! Your pound cake looks divine (I always request my mom’s pound cake for my birthday). After 30 years of living in the mountains, I had my first real bear sighting just last summer, so I know you’re due 😉
    *sigh* I’m babbling, so I’m going to stop, but I’m just so glad to have your blog to read again, I can hardly stand it.

  • Becky and Jeremiah Swann

    Glad to have you back! It was Un-“bear”-able without you 🙂

  • Shanna, Adam and Gracen

    becky’s silly.

    i have no desire to ever see a bear unless it’s in captivity. and then i would just be very sad that it’s captive, so i don’t really want that either.

    did you ever see the documentary on the grizzly man?

    so glad you’re back.

  • Jessica, Myron and Rylie

    mmmmmm, I keep looking at your cakes.

    I want to eat them.


    Cant wait to see more pictures of your trip on the Flickr (hint, hint);)

  • OurMrsMikrut


  • sunday

    we missed the bears in our neighborhood while we were on vacation too. darn it. so glad that you are back. we have been missing you. on shanna the grizzly man!!! he was crazy.

  • julie

    Wanna go to the zoo with lilly and i next week – i can allllmost promise you there are bears there. Welcome home dear kate – welcome home.

  • KatieKate

    We DOOOOOO want to go to the zoo next week!!!

    And, folks, the photos are up on Flickr now. More to come when I get the rest of the family’s (hello, out there…head to your local post office, eh?)

  • Amy B.

    I know this is an old post, but I just had to comment on two things.

    First, I love me some hard cider, too.

    Second, on our trip through Grand Teton and Yellowstone last summer, we saw one bear – right on the side of the road between the two parks, where there was a ton of traffic backed up because of construction. There was no way we could stop to snap a photo – had to keep moving with the creeping traffic. It’s head was buried deep in a bush, completely oblivious to all of the commotion around it.

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