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  • Writer's pictureTerri Tomoff

Beaver Creek Bear

Good morning! I decided to not only include part 2 of the bear story but the story in its entirety. Thank you for reading along!

While talking to a friend about a golf trip she and her husband took in Colorful Colorado a few years ago, she told me some details about the home they stayed in and “The Bear of Beaver Creek.”

My friend, whom I’ll call Patty, and her husband, traveled with three other couples for a golf vacation at another friend’s beautiful mountain home. West of Vail, Beaver Creek is known for its mountain resorts with a plethora of ski runs and cross-country skiing. The enormous, gorgeous home the guests descended on sat facing the mountain range with stunning views for miles.

The hostess of the home welcomed her guests with open arms, along with her smart-as-a-whip white Maltese. According to Patty, the whole house was well-appointed, with a slew of guest rooms on the lower level of the home. Each couple had a bedroom with an ensuite bath.

A week before her guests arrived, the hostess hired painters for a quick tidy to refresh the paint in the lower-level bedrooms. When the painters left on their last day with the final coat, one left a window open slightly, about six inches, for the fresh mountain air to come in and replace “paint smell air.”

A few days before Patty and Co. arrived, they learned from their hosts that a black bear had squeezed through that one bedroom with the open window. When he entered with muddy paws, the dog of the house barked once. She was then picked up and quieted by her owners, much to her delight, not knowing what was happening downstairs! Or did she?

Current lore reveals the bear jumped up on the bed and left his brown muddy paw prints all over the pretty down comforter/duvet, then walked over to the dresser where he picked up a candle and took a bite out of it, attempting to eat it. Foraging for food, and never one to eat a candle, he spits out the big gash of the candle, leaving its teeth marks left for “evidence.” The bear thought twice about the candle not being food (though sweetly scented) and returned it to the dresser - almost in the same place it originally sat. He’s one thoughtful bear, huh?

After having fun in the first bedroom, the bear decided to walk down the hall and check out the other bedrooms. Frankly, and according to the host/ess, the whole lower level was his new playground. He opened doors and stuck his nose into many nooks and crannies as his dirty paws indicated from the fading prints on the hardwood flooring. Of course, bear behavior in someone’s home means they are always on the hunt for real food, and candles just don’t cut it.

Once the little Maltese had enough of sitting quietly in her masters’ arms, most likely smelling the bear on her property and wasn’t going to have it any longer, she began barking, or shall I say yapping, in earnest. It was all she could do instead of going out of her mind, though all the scents wafting up from the lower level probably got her there.

The Beaver Creek black bear spent a significant amount of time checking out this incredible mountain home and, thankfully, not damaging anything except the fragrant Apple Blossom candle. But once the yappy pup could not help herself with her sharp, and by this time, out of control barking (nor could her owners), the bear finally got scared. He bumbled over to the first bedroom that he entered and reversed his entrance to get out, this time more easily since he opened the slash all the way up upon his initial entry. Now that is one smarty-pants bear.

It was decided by the host/ess and her golf gang that the Breaking and Entering of her home could not be this bear’s first rodeo. Instead, the owners found, if one could believe it, a “respectable” pro in finding open windows in this black bear’s Rocky Mountain range playground.

Since the candle didn’t cut it for sought-after food, and the yappy dog that gave him away, that Beaver Creek black bear was never seen again in the expansively forested “neighborhood.”




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