New to Theodore's adventures? Read from the start.

158. A Kid's Slide


After lunch the path went downhill and Earth Bear and Theodore made good progress.  "We must keep watch along here," said Earth Bear, "I have often seen a family of otters playing in this river.  Maybe we will be lucky today."  They walked a little slower and then Earth Bear said, "Over there. See, there is one swimming in that pool. Let us watch for a while as they are very active and like to dive and play. That little one is coming out of the water now and ha, ha," Earth Bear laughed, "did you see it slide down that bank and back into the water. Just like any kid."  Theodore laughed too as they watched the energetic little otter and decided to spend some time looking at the otters search  for something to eat.  "We must move on now," said Earth Bear, "we have to reach the next Camp Site before it gets dark. This Site is different and we will have a hut to sleep in instead of a tent."

Who is That?

Theodore and Earth Bear settled into the little hut at the Camp Site and prepared their supper. They sat on the steps of the verandah to watch the sun go down and while waiting for it to get dark they listened to all the night sounds made by the animals and birds in the Park.  "Later tonight there will be a film show about the Park in the small amphitheater over there," said Earth Bear, "would you like to see it or are you tired?"  "That would be lovely," replied Theodore and they made their way over to find a good seat on one of the natural stone tiers around the big screen.  The lights came on between the huts, the preparations for the show were underway and the visitors started coming from their huts.  Suddenly Earth Bear nudged Theodore. "That is an interesting looking visitor here tonight.  Certainly not the type we see around regularly.  From where, I wonder?"


157. Good Fortune


The next morning Theodore Bear woke up early and heard the birds twittering in the trees all around the tent.  He was surprised to see that Earth Bear was up already and busy rolling up his sleeping bag.  "Good morning, Theodore," said Earth Bear, "I thought I would start putting things away so we can have an early start.  Today we will have quite a climb as the path goes along the side of a mountain and there is likely to be more work to do than yesterday but we will have a beautiful view over the rest of the Park."  "I'll be quick," replied Theodore and in a short while they were ready to leave.  It was a lovely morning and Earth Bear walked in front. Soon he stopped and whispered to Theodore, "See those mounds of soil?  That is a fox burrow and look, there comes a fox now.  He was still out hunting."  The fox stood on top of the mound for a moment, looked around and then disappeared into one of the holes.  Earth Bear and Theodore both smiled at their good fortune to see it and then walked on along the path.

The Waterfall

Slowly the path through the forest became steeper and Earth Bear and Theodore slowed their pace so as not to get tired.  Once again there were steps that needed to be inspected and there were streams of water running next to the path.  Theodore enjoyed listening to the sound of the water rushing over the stones and they stopped to admire a waterfall. "This is impressive," said Theodore, "look how the water crashes down into the pool at the bottom and makes a big ball of foam. We could use some of that water in the desert where I live." They walked on and in places the path was wet from streams that had come down the mountain during the last rains. Earth Bear and Theodore had to repair a number of washaways and at midday they were glad to sit down for a while and rest. "This is the highest point," said Earth Bear, "enjoy the view. It is spectacular with all the trees, the lakes and the mountains in the distance and makes a good reward for all our hard work."

156. The Camp Site


Earth Bear and Theodore found their tent and unzipped the entrance.  "This is the first time I will be sleeping in a tent," said Theodore looking around as they took off their back packs and put them down. "It can get quite chilly in the night," Earth Bear told him, "let us go over to the store right away and fetch the sleeping bags, a lantern and two folding chairs.  We can sit outside for a while and watch the stars come out.  They are so bright here where there are no city lights."  Theodore helped Earth Bear carry all the equipment and watched how he hung up the lantern on the cross bar of the tent. They got their supper ready and sat outside the tent to eat it.  Slowly it began to get dark and the first star started to twinkle then more and more could be seen.  Earth Bear pointed out some of the well known ones and after a while they could see the moon coming up over the trees.  "Shh," said Earth Bear softly, "listen carefully, did you hear that wolf howling in the distance?  But don't worry, remember there is a strong fence around the tents and it cannot get in here where we are."

Nature at Night  

"Look, over there, Theodore," whispered Earth Bear, "it is quite difficult to see, but there is an owl sitting right at the top of that dead tree behind the row of tents in front of us.  I think it is watching to spot a mouse running around looking for food.  Maybe it will fly off then and you will not hear a sound when  it does.  It lifts its wings and looks as if it jumps into the air, but so silently that the  mouse cannot hear it coming.  Nature is very clever."  "Yes, it is," agreed Theodore, "oh, now I see the owl.  It looks so big sitting there."  "Hooo, hooo," said the owl and turned his head from side to side but Theodore had to wait a long time to see it fly away.  "I am getting sleepy now," said Earth Bear, "we have another long walk ahead of us tomorrow and had better get some rest."  They crept into their sleeping bags, Earth Bear turned out the lantern and soon they were both fast asleep.  

155. Earth Bear's Helper


After some lunch and a rest Earth Bear and Theodore continued along the trail as it crossed the top of the hill. The slope down the other side was not as steep and they made good progress. Earth Bear  took a small folding spade out of his back pack and smoothed the path in the places where the water from the last rain had caused some erosion and Theodore helped him by moving sharp stones out of the way. Lower down on the hill they came out of the trees and Theodore was surprised to see all the flowers growing among the grass. Earth Bear pointed out some special ones that he knew by name and told Theodore that they could be used as a medicine for various complaints.  "It is time to go now," he said, "we still have quite a stretch to the Camp Site and we should be there before dark. Our tent is already pitched but I have to fetch some equipment we will need from the store."

Theodore and Earth Bear set off at a brisker pace.  "Now we do not have far to go any more," said Earth Bear, "the path goes across the river and the Camp Site is on the other bank."  They came around a bend in the path and Earth Bear stopped.  He turned around slowly and put his paw over his mouth indicating that Theodore should be quiet.  He pointed in the direction of the river and Theodore edged forward to see too.  A deer had come for an evening drink and had not seen or heard them.  They watched for a while and then the deer walked slowly away, stopping here and there to nibble at the grass before disappearing into the thicket again.  Only then did they walk on and were soon at the Camp Site.  Theodore was surprised to see that there was a tall fence around the tents and Earth Bear explained that was to keep the visitors in and the big animals out at night.  "The gate is securely locked," he said, "not even sleepwalkers can get out there," and he smiled.

154. Safety First


"The bridge is still quite safe," said Earth Bear when he had finished checking the structure, "we can go on now.  The trail will lead uphill shortly and we will arrive at a lovely view point where we can sit on a bench and have a break for lunch. I hope you are enjoying yourself, Theodore."   Theodore smiled broadly and assured his friend that he was having a wonderful time. They put their back packs on their backs again and slowly started up the slope. A thin pole had been fastened across the path at intervals to serve as steps to make the climb less tiring and Earth Bear checked each one to be sure the supports and wires were secure.  The stream now rushed down over the stones and small cascades of water sparkled where the rays of sunshine broke through the trees.  Before long  they reached the top of the hill and sat down on the bench.  The view over the tree tops to the mountains in distance was breathtaking.  "Wow!" said Theodore, "I could never have imagined it."  

153. The Stream


Theodore and Earth Bear were walking on level ground and there was very little that needed to be done to the path as it was not damaged by the rain.  Here and there it was still muddy and they had to walk along the edges and the fallen leaves were a bit slippery in places.  The stream close by trickled along tunefully and there was a little wooden bridge to be crossed.  Earth Bear inspected the poles and planks and made sure they were all securely in place. Theodore looked over the railing on the sides and could see small trout swimming in the water. As he watched a frog jumped off a grass tuft and plopped into the pool.  A few colorful dragon flies landed gently on the stones that were sticking out of the water.  Further over a yellow butterfly settled on a flower and a bird was taking a bath in some water that had collected in a hollow stone. Theodore was fascinated.

152. The Start of the Trail


"Just before we leave, it is still early in the morning and we may be lucky to see one of the night animals feeding before they go to sleep for the day so I suggest we walk as quietly as possible," said Earth Bear and Theodore agreed. They walked along the path stopping every now and then to enjoy the scenery. The tall trees on both sides of the trail met over the top to form a canopy and Theodore imagined that is what it must be like to hike in a jungle. There seemed to be squirrels everywhere and they chattered noisily to warn each other that somebody was coming.  Earth Bear stopped and held up his paw then pointed towards a shrub under the trees. Theodore at first could not see what was there but then he spied the wild turkey pecking at some berries.  It was somewhat hidden among the leaves but it was the first wild creature they saw and Theodore was thrilled.  He hoped it was the first of many more that they would see.

151. Packed up and ready


The next morning Theodore woke up early and peeped out of the window.  It was a beautiful day and he decided to wear his yellow bow again. "Yellow is for sunshine," he said to himself, "and it would be good if the sun shines each day on our walk."  He took everything out of his back pack so that he could help Earth Bear carry the things they needed to take with them.  Earth Bear gave Theodore a stout walking stick.  "It is always a good thing to have a strong stick with you," he said and soon they were packed up ready to leave.  Earth Bear made sure all the windows were shut properly and latched his door.  "I would not like any little visitors to raid my pantry while I am away," he said, "raccoons and foxes and others can cause a lot of damage."  They walked through the Rest Camp and Earth Bear showed Theodore the restaurant and the main office before they set out on the trail. "This is where we start, shall I say 'Left, Right, March'," said Earth Bear playfully.

150. The Map


After supper Earth Bear showed Theodore the big map of the park on the wall of his cabin.  It had all the paths and roads and trails marked on it and also the rivers and mountain peaks.  He pointed out where his cabin was and where the best viewing places were.  "You just came at the right time, Theodore, as it has rained rather heavily here lately," Earth Bear said, "and I have to go out on a walking trail to check if it is still in a safe, usable condition.  It will take about three days to do that so we will have to take our food with in back packs and then we can sleep in a tent at one of the picnic spots along the way.  I think you will enjoy that a lot and I hope that you are fit to be able to walk so far.  It is a very beautiful trail and we may be lucky enough to see some animals too.  What do you think about that idea?"  "It sounds wonderful," said Theodore, "I can hardly wait to go." 

149. Meeting Earth Bear again


Earth Bear was so pleased to see Theodore and they shook paws.  "You have been a long time getting here, Theodore, I almost thought you had forgotten about me and I was looking so forward to showing you the beautiful place where I live," said Earth Bear, "come inside and make yourself at home in my little cabin.  It is a bit rustic but very comfortable."  They stepped into the log cabin and settled down in the large bean bags.  "So where all have you been on your travels, Theodore," asked EarthBear, "I am sure you have seen many interesting places by now." And Theodore told him what he had seen and done.  "It has been wonderful," he said, "everybody should travel and experience new places and traditions."  "Supper time," suggested Earth Bear, "I have some fresh honey still in the comb and that is always a treat.  Then I can tell you what we will do tomorrow."

148. Waiting patiently

Theodore climbed onto the second step of Earth Bear's cabin and looked around if he could see him somewhere. Then he smiled to himself. "Ha, there he is.  In his hammock and he is fast asleep!  I think he must be very tired after working all day so I will just sit down here on the step and wait a while until he wakes up."  So that is what Theodore did.  He put his back pack and cane down next to him and leaned against a post.  He watched the birds and saw a squirrel scampering up a tree.  "It seems as if it does not like me sitting here," Theodore thought, "just listen how he is chattering.  Maybe he is trying to wake Earth Bear up so he can see the visitor on his step."  Later the squirrel ran down the tree again and scratched around among the leaves to find something to eat. A little mouse crept out from under a bush and Theodore sat very still not to frighten it. It seemed like only a short time before Theodore heard, "Ho, hum," coming from the hammock and Earth Bear sat up. He yawned, stretched and rubbed his eyes. “Well, it's Theodore Bear!” he said and slipped to the ground to greet his friend.

147. The Path


Theodore Bear was following the directions along the path to the Rangers' cabins, swinging his cane as he walked along.  The path was covered with a thick layer of damp leaves and he felt as if he was walking on a carpet.  Birds were flitting from tree to tree and others were perched on the branches twittering happily.  "This is all so relaxing," Theodore thought to himself and started counting the numbers on the cabins, "Nine, Eight, Seven. . . Number Two must be around the corner near the end of the row."  The cabins were all built of logs, blending wonderfully into the surroundings and all looked alike.  "Number Two," Theodore read, "that must be where Earth Bear lives.  Hmm, he has a hammock strung between two veranda posts, but I wonder where he is.  The front door is wide open but I do not see him anywhere," and he walked onto the front step.


Theodore's Travels © 2010

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