And the threat of a rampaging bear couldn’t scare us off either.
As we drove into the Lincoln National Forest’s Oak Grove Campground yesterday afternoon we stopped to greet a couple of women walking along the road. I was surprised that the campground seemed to be deserted. As popular as the Ruidoso area is, I had been afraid we might not be able to find a camping spot. The women, who turned out to be local birders just out for the day, told us that we would soon meet the campground host who was on a mission to warn everyone about a hungry black bear that had been spotted several times roaming through the campground. They told us that they thought the host’s warning had scared off any potential campers.
But we weren’t scared off that easily. Twice that evening and again this morning we politely listened as the host lectured us about putting all food away and being cautious. Instead of all the bear alerts (we never did see any bears) we could have used a warning about the herd of “wild” horses that visited camp in the morning. A couple of them seemed to think that the food we had out on the picnic table was better than the lush grass they were munching in the meadows next to camp. But they were fun to watch. And things got interesting at one point when two of the stallions got into a fight over who should be leading the mares.
With no other campers around and no threat of rain it was a restful time at the campground. We were ready this morning to hit the trail and see some more of the White Mountain Wilderness. It was a beautiful day and an enjoyable 8-mile hike.