The four-wheel drive pickups were our vehicles for official business, including making mail runs to town. One truck was always available to the Commanding Officer, and all were parked outside year-around.
Shortly after I arrived at Cold Bay, I learned that when our garbage from the kitchen was taken to the dump, there were almost always brown bears waiting for their evening "meal". Well, one day I heard over the intercom that one of the trucks was getting ready to leave with the garbage. I was anxious to see the awesome bears in the "wild", so I arranged to go along. More than once after that I was one of three or four guys that made that trip. We would place the garbage cans (jumbo size, as you can imagine) in the back of a six-pack pickup and drive down the road to where we had a dump. Upon arriving, we would take turns as to who had to get into the back of the pickup, remove the cans, and empty them into the edge of the pit. It was a big thrill to see the bears come lumbering over to the garbage for their treat. I was amazed at their size! Sometimes they would approach the truck out of curiosity. When they did so, we would rev the engine, and they would scamper off. Once, while I was sitting in the driver's seat a good-sized cub came up to the truck and pressed his face against the window next to me. I revved the engine, and he backed away just as he was supposed to do. My relief was beyond description! Not pressing my luck, I wasted no time in driving away. On another trip I finally had to take my turn dumping. It was the first and the last! It was dusk by the time we got to the dump, and it was getting hard to see. My heart was thumping in my chest as I swung up into the bed of the truck. Right then, I noticed some shapes in the darkness coming our way. Terrified, I wasted no time overturning those cans and dumping them off the truck gate. I didn't even take them out of the truck! I ran to the front of the bed, swung into the cab without having touched my feet on the ground, slammed the door shut, and never went on the garbage run again.