The Problem with Propane & Bear Bait

When there is a recall on your motorhome that has to do with a propane line, you turn the gas off until you can have the required service work done. It’s a no-brainer. Propane is flammable, and with just the right leakage factor, potentially explosive.

Do you know how long it takes to get a service appointment when you are bopping around Florida State Parks in a rolling combustion coach? Too long. No propane means no heat, no range top burners, no hot water. I can wash dishes in cold water, but a cold shower is out of the question.

Maybe it’s the shower thing. Maybe that is why I smell like bear bait.

I have had two close encounters with Florida Black Bear in the past week. In the first near-brush with Yogi, I was jogging down a path that ran along the Tamiami trail. A car stopped, rolled down the window and was yelling something about “blah-blah-blah, behind you.” I thought he was telling me that he would soon be jogging behind me. Not so. He waited for me at the end of the trail to inform me that he had been trying to tell me that there was a bear behind me. It was not my lightening speed that kept the bear from catching me. He just lost interest. Mauling me took too much effort.

Later in the week, while walking Gypsy through the Ross Prairie Trailhead, I met a nice man who was walking his dog. Well, he was kind of running with his dog. The look on his face told me that he was not out for a recreational run with his canine companion. It seems that he was in full retreat. Yep, another bear, but this one was ahead of me.

Thank goodness we managed to get that service work done, and I can FINALLY take a nice, hot shower in my own RV. No more smelling like bear bait for me.

To set the record straight, I DID shower. Thankfully we were in Southwest Florida for the few weeks without heat or hot water. A nice, warm bathhouse was close by, and although the mornings and evenings were chilly, the temperature was tolerable.

Yes, we had to confront cold water and a couple of bear, but all was not lost. We also had the pleasure of meeting up with old friends from our Baltimore boating days and sharing a bucket (or two) of cold beer! How wonderful to find some friendly faces. It makes us feel a little more connected to home during this crazy voyage.

The Ross Prairie Trailhead is a beautiful spot, near Ocala. We had planned to be here a bit longer, to explore the parks and eat some gator bites, but it was not to be. There is a cold front sweeping across the Gulf, and torrential rains and high winds are in the forecast. We hightailed it to Grayton Beach State Park (on the Redneck Riviera) a day early to avoid traveling in adverse conditions.

We have just settled in for a night of stormy weather and some NFL action on TV…

Stay tuned…

One thought on “The Problem with Propane & Bear Bait

  1. I remember visiting Joe and Kathy when they lived in Myrtle Beach. One day I was jogging in a state park, saw a log across the trail about thirty yards ahead of me, then the log moved. Big old alligator. A few days later, we hit a sculpture garden near a golf course. I heard Joe go ‘Whoa!’. I was about five feet from a young alligator [4-5 feet long] and believe it or not, I had no fear of it. But I scanned around for mama, and eased away. Didn’t see mama.

    Another time Leah and I were hiking on a trail in Bandolier National Park [near Los Alamos] and we noticed a guy almost laying down on a rock easing his way towards the river. He was sneaking up on a brown bear, about 20 feet away. Leah started towards it as well, but I stopped her quickly and we resumed our hike.

    Now bison, don’t get me started about bison…


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