Just got back from our annual family reunion campout and this one is going to be full of memories, both good and bad. For years, we've been going out to the Sawtooth mountains near Stanley, Idaho, and have never had any problems with primitive camping. None! This is why we keep going back to the same area. Great fishing, no people or traffic, and since its primitive, its free! First with the bad news.... my grandmother passed away, so I'll be making another trip back to Idaho for the memorial at the end of this week. My uncle almost left when this happened, so it could have been a VERY short trip. But, she had been declining for quite some time, so we weren't surprised to hear of it. Also, we got kicked outta camp by BLM shortly after we got there. Took us 7.5hrs to drive there from our house in Montana, another 1.5hrs to fully set up camp, had dinner with the fam and a short BS session before we all hit the sack. The next day, we woke up to our camp kitchen being ransacked. My wife's cake was MIA but the full pan of brownies were ignored, a box of individual packages of chips were missing (left the big bags alone for some reason), and my giant bag of movie-butter popcorn was all relocated out to the woods. We followed the crumbs to where all the goodies must have been consumed. Figuring it was raccoons or squirrels, we cleaned up the mess and went fishing. Caught our limit, cleaned them, packed on ice, and ate lunch. After lunch, my wife and I jump in the truck and start towards town for more ice. Along the dirt road, we're met by BLM and told that they are shutting the entire area down due to bear activity. Yup, that's right. My uncle was super pissed and darn near went home because of it. This place was chosen for a reason and having the BLM kick us out because of "supposed" bears was almost too much. I've never heard a man swear so many words in such a short amount of time! Well, it turns out that the BLM guys may have been onto something. We were about 30min into packing up when my wife spots a 350 lb brown bear moseying into camp. Yup, you read that right. Yogi came back looking for seconds on his midnight snack. At least, now we're guessing it was a bear the ate from our kitchen buffet. Never had that happen in all the years we've been going there. Never even heard of anyone else having this issue, either. Nonetheless, a bear was in our camp! Wife grabbed the kids and dogs, tossed them in the truck, and left to tell the neighbors down the road while my uncle and I grabbed our bear spray and pistols to shoo it off back into the woods. Fired a couple of warning shots, scared it deeper into the trees, and commenced to packing up the rest of camp. An hour later, it was back. Other campers on the opposite side of the lake saw it wandering the shoreline back in our direction and came to tell us. Wife repeated her previous actions, and so did me and my uncle. This time, we actively chased it into the woods and we didn't see it again. We finished packing and headed back towards town. As we got closer to Stanley and into cell reception, we got the news of my grandmother. Not much any of us could do, so we checked into a motel, parked the rigs, and went to dinner. Afterwards, we showered up and hit the sack. Over breakfast the next morning, my uncle informed the rest of us that he got ahold of a buddy that was familiar with the area and knew where we could camp and had good fishing. We headed out for Redfish Lake, and while we had to settle for a pay-site, we got a spot big enough for the 4-6 families that were already on their way. Still had cell reception, so that made it easier to give directions to the new base camp. Stayed for a total of 6 days there, no fish were caught from the lake or the tributaries, but the Salmon River had pretty good fishing about 20min down the road. I paid wayyyy too much for that site, but we had a pretty good time despite the bad news of grandma and our bear encounter. The last day in camp, I got a text from my mother that she had passed in the night. Made for a somber breakfast and camp cleanup. Still, here are some pics from what will likely be one of our more memorable reunions for some time to come: Loaded for "bear," as they say My boys at our first camp, one of the smaller lakes near Bull Trout Lake, Idaho At the motel in Stanley, Idaho, just after being kicked out of our previous camp Fire additives to give off a blue and purple flame We always end our last night with glow sticks, music, dancing, and general silly-ness. Taken just as I got the text with news of my grandmother's passing.