An hour of recharging by the water was enough. Then, lo, hunger came. Mr. Tummy imagined the greasiest, cheesiest and most-mayonnaise-dripping hamburger in all Creation. He was excited. This is the motivation I needed to get back up the trail, from the lake shore to the parking lot.

Walking up through the pines, from a boat in the bay, a man yelled, “A bear is coming right for you!”

“What?” I screamed back.

“A bear is coming right for you!”

Then, a bear thirty feet away was about to cross my path. He wasn’t coming right for me. He seemed not to even notice me. But he was getting closer. So, I got out my knife, and stood still.

The bear crossed passed fifteen feet in front of me. It wasn’t scary. However, a 300 pound animal can hurt you if it wants to. So why not hold a blade?

Five second later he was gone. This was only the second bear in the wild I’d seen. Thus, I’m no expert at dealing with their presence. However, it did occur to me to wait just a little bit longer in case cubs followed. “Don’t get between a momma and her cubs,” is common sense. But no cubs came.

My walk up resumed. I kept my blade close by, but concealed it in my pocket. The sight of a 265 pound man holding a knife in a California state park may have been perturbing to some lonely female. However, after ten minutes it was back in my pack.

Thirty minutes later, after passing the cold mist of the waterfalls on Eagle Creek again, I was back at my Sexy Sienna. Thirty minutes after this, heaven on a plate was going into my belly. There is just something so perfect about a hamburger! Call me Wimpy. I will gladly pay you tomorrow for a hamburger today. Only a soy boy doesn’t love grease, cheese and mayo dripping down his chin from one of America’s greatest inventions.

Thirty minutes after this, I’d procured a campsite at Camp Richardson. Sleeping in my Sexy Sienna surrounded by the still forest sounded perfect. Apparently, every campsite for every night for the next three months was booked solid. Tomorrow, Friday the 14th, schools were to get out. My trip was perfectly timed.

A lodge at the campground with a fire was open to all campers. I read there for a couple of hours next to the warm crackle. Oh how fire is so much better than television! Then it was bedtime.

This day had ups and downs. But it was a good day. Peace in the dark of my van was augmented by the balance of warmth from my sleeping bag and the cool mountain air outside. My sleep was deep.

Lake Tahoe would be the furthest away from Sedona I’d travel on this trip. Tomorrow was the start of the journey back to Arizona. But I would take at least two days to do this. There was more to be seen.

Truly, some dusty, alkaline spot that makes people sick was on my mind almost as much as the Yosemite had been. I’d head to the dry Owens Lake tomorrow.