Jackson and I headed out on a long road trip from Vancouver, BC to Santa Fe, NM in hopes of fun adventures and lots of sun. This portion is from our stay in California where we enjoyed surfing in Santa Cruz, a wedding in LA, coastal camping on Highway 1, among many more excursions.
A favorite memory is from camping in Avalon on Catalina Island. When we arrived by bike with forty-pound backpacks straight from the ferry, the campsite manager greeted us warmly. He proceeded to show us to our campsite and informed us of the recent problems they were having with deer and coyotes. He said that if you leave out anything around your campsite, the deer and coyotes will try to eat anything they can get their paws on, even if it's not food. Jackson and I dismissed his warning too exhausted from our travels, and eager to get our tent set up and go check out the nightlife. Once our campsite was set up, we got back on our bikes and road into town for some dinner and a dip in the ocean. Around 11:00 pm we decided to head back up to the campsite in seek of some sleep. We biked onto the dirt road leading to our campsite, and little to our surprise saw some deer on the way. We locked our bikes up and went into the tent to get our toiletries. When we stepped out of our tent with headlamps on all of a sudden, there were about twenty gleaming eyes set upon us eager to tear apart the tent and see what goodies we had stored away. Jackson, stoked on wildlife, decided to go check out the animals. The deer and coyotes were not timid at all and did not shy away from Jackson. The foxes’ eyes peered up at us begging for food, but we knew they were only trouble.
Suddenly, we heard a strange noise from the bushes in a nearby campsite and went to investigate. We walked over and saw about five deer and a few foxes tearing apart our neighbors camp. The neighbors were in town and obviously had not listened to the manager’s warning. They had a huge box of cereal out that a deer decided to toss around everywhere, with the bag in its mouth swinging it around like a party animal. The animals ended up eating their whole cooler full of food and left their campsite a complete mess. There was nothing we could do, but try and shush the animals away because they have become too used to human contact.
Our neighbors learned their lesson, and so did we. These animals don’t realize it now, and neither do most humans, but if they become too dependent on us the animals will no longer learn how to fend for themselves or kill prey in the wild.
Jackson and I learned from this small experience and are trying to act in the wilderness like the foxes should, without being lured in by the beauty of artificial entities brought on by large corporations.