Saturday, June 16, 2012

I Love You, Smokey Bear!

The "Little Bear Fire" reminds me of  one of my favorites ~ Smokey the Bear.....in 1950 "Smokey Bear" was found in the exact same forest that this Ruidoso/Alto/Bonito Lake fire has burned.
I think I love you, Smokey Bear!!!
The living symbol of Smokey Bear was an American black cub who in the spring of 1950 was caught in the "Capitan Gap Fire", a wildfire that burned 17,000 acres in the Lincoln
National Forest, in the Capitan Mountains of New Mexico. Smokey had climbed a tree to escape the blaze, but his paws and hind legs had been burned. According to some stories, he was rescued by a game warden after the fire, but according to the New Mexico State Forestry Division, it was actually a group of soldiers from Fort Bliss, Texas, who had come to help fight the fire, that discovered the bear cub and brought him back to the camp. **At first he was called "Hotfoot Teddy," but he was later renamed Smokey, after the mascot.
 


We have owned our Ruidoso home since 1970 and have collected Smokey Bear "stuff" since then...we visit the US Forest Service office here in town and also go to The Smokey Bear Museum in Capitan, New Mexico sometimes, too!  We have many posters...stamps....bumperstickers, etc!
We have saved most of our Smokey Bear goodies...but wish we had it all!


One summer...my BFF, Kathy and I volunteered for the US Forest Service.
It was the most exhausting job I have ever done...we hiked, rode horses, hiked some more...we broke fire rings, picked up trash, cleared obstacles....basically maintained the trails! Whew!! It was a tough job....one day we hiked 6 miles up Angus Mountain (now burned!!)  there was a HUGE thunderstorm (lightning and all) when we got to the top -- we covered ourselves with branches and tried to keep ourselves safe and dry....after that...I remember running back down as fast as I could and I never went back! That was my last day working for the US Forest Service!!

But...I still love you Smokey Bear!!

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