no bear bites
hi everyone. I made it back home from the backpacking trip. we encountered much wildlife; moose, elk, mountain goats, antelope, black bear and grizzly bears. we even caught a few trout.
I ended up not taking the ukelele into the mountains. there was no room in my pack. food, warm clothes and essentials were more important. we did jam in the van however.
what a great trip. the hiking was hard and rewarding. the views were spectacular. we had all our camp sites to ourselves.
the first site we learned was closed for three years for restoration and re-naturalization. then it was closed most of this year because of bear trouble. the site opened the day we were to go there. we hiked five miles up into the mountains to a beautiful alpine lake(Old Man Lake) there we caught trout and swam. it was a hot day, in the 80's, so the frigid mountain water felt tolerable. it was great to clean off the sweat from the hike.
it was there that we had our first bear encounter. a juvenal black bear had been living in the area.while fishing and swimming he came around the lake shore and surprised us. 15 feet away, we began to yell and wave our arms. I used a towel to wave. I was swimming au naturale (talk about being vulnerable). the little bear (big as a small car) ran off. lucky us he was a very young bear.
the last day as we were driving out of the big camp site (RV area) we saw three grizzly bears feeding on the hill. they were about 100 yards away. a ranger was there to monitor the crowd. eventually the mother bear ambled down the slope towards us. that was when the ranger had everyone get back into the cars and leave.
the lake where we ran into the black bear was closed the day after we left ( we learned this by talking to the rangers when we checked back in after five days out). a pair of campers were at the same campsite but messed upo by cooking near the tents. the black bear visited them, they ran off and filmed the bear breaking open the packs and drinking gatorade and eating food. the ranger was upset because now the bear was rewarded with food. it has made the association of campers, packs and food. the site was closed again until the bear moves off or is moved. the ranger said we did good by shooing it away. he also asked us if we saw the grizzly living nearby.????????????huh???what???? a mom and two cubs lived on another lake a mile away. we never saw them. the ranger said the mom likes to go to the lake we were at to get fish.
our last two nights out we had rain. clouds descended on the mountain tops as we pitched camp. the rain held off until nightfall. in the morning it was foggy. we could hardly see. then it lifted revealing snow on the mountain tops.
it rained off and on all the next day. still we were able to explore. that night the rain turned to snow. in the morning we packed up our wet stuff and hiked an easy four miles down 'hill' to the van.
the hot coffee was the best.
I think the best part of the hike was going over two passes along the Continental Divide.we were way the heck up there. around 7 and 8 thousand feet. I felt like I was going to get blown off the mountain it was windy. then I got a touch of vertigo. it was so scary and exciting. I loved it.
it was a long hike that day. seven miles. 1450 feet up and then a 2100 foot descent. the up was hard at 7 thousand feet as the air got really thin. the descent was harder as the toes were jammed hard in the boots. I was important to bend the knees and walk like Groucho Marks or the knee joint would have been hurt bad.
we all made it fine. I got a few blisters and a good tan.
sorry I wont be sending you my instruments and gear. I am back in one piece.
here are some pictures:
Welcome back, db!
Glad you made it in one piece.
Great pix. You wouldn't catch me walking that rubbley little ledge for a million bucks!
great report and great pictures looks like fun.
Good that you survived in one piece
"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!
Good to have you back Dog.
Those Trout are making me jones for a trip down to Southern Missouri.
Beautiful Pics too!
Welcome back Dogbite!
Nice pictures and nice site!
hey mates. I missed you all.
that rubbley ridge path was sooo scary. when I looked in the viewfinder on my camera to take that shot I got all spinny.
when I had to go around it , I just looked at my boots touching the rocks; one step and then another. it was like walking on the moon up there. rocks and more rocks all shattered from the elements.
the mountains around us up there were around 9,000 feet. our highest hiking point was close to 8,000. just about where that photo was taken.
I have more but don't want be a boor.
plus I need to play my guitar. yahoo!
"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
You wouldn't catch me walking that rubbley little ledge for a million bucks!
Same here, I'm afraid. Looking at the pic gave me palpitations!
Breathtakingly beautiful scenery, though. Welcome back. Glad ya had fun and lived to tell (and show) about it! :D
Love and Peace or Else,
Great report! A+ :D
Funnily enough, only yesterday I checked your 'goodbye' post and counted up the days to see if you were due back soon. So it's good to see that you made it back in one piece and had such an eventful and beautiful trip. Reminded me a bit of reading Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods" about hiking the Appalachian trail.
Great to have you back dogbite! :D
Those pics look beautiful! Your trip sounds great. Nice report. 8)
"The only way I know that guarantees no mistakes is not to play and that's simply not an option". David Hodge
Sounds like you had an awsome trip. Welcome back. Love the pics too. Like TL, the trout pics made me jealous. I'm heading out to Zion and Bryce next year with the kids. Hope it is as good of a trip as yours!
Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.
Great pics and sounds like a very memorable experience.
Waaay too many bears in proximity for my liking, though. :|
When my mind is free, you know a melody can move me
And when I'm feelin' blue, the guitar's comin' through to soothe me ~
Glad to hear that you enjoyed your trip and came away unscathed. :D
Unfortunately the opportunity for acquiring your Telecaster has gone...
Nonetheless, its great that you are back in one piece and love those pics. Very nicely shot. Did you make any music on the way ?
Great photos, Dogbite - spectacular views indeed! Glad to see you made it back in one piece, your report's making me feel I could do with a holiday!
:D :D :D
"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)
Those are fantastic pictures. I can safely say most would be cool as wallpaper.
They are picture postcard perfect.
Congrats on not becoming bear food.
"I play live as playing dead is harder than it sounds!"