17 Jun Day 56 – Bear Country
At mile 1455.1. Hiked 22.4 miles today. Reached 1000 miles hiked.
Lot of bear sign including this awesome bear track. There was a great deal of very large bear scat. The largest I had ever seen. Already one hiker warned me to move through this area fast. Guthook has comments on water sources such as “a bear hung out at this spring all day” and “there is a bear that lives at this stream”. I want to know how a hiker knew that a bear hung out all day at a spring. Did the hiker hang out at the spring all day with the bear?
This morning there were two times I heard a bear crashing through the woods. Each time I had stopped to check position and was standing silently with my back to the bear. In each instance, it became too much for the concealed bear and the bear bolted. The 2nd one actually kicked up a cloud of dust when crossing a road below me. I didn’t get a visual on either bear, but I am sure they were bears.
This morning I grew tired of breakfast sausage I have 50 of the flesh colored greasy links to eat before my next resupply. I’m calling it the 50 Sausage Challenge.
The PCT already has the McDonalds challenge where the hiker eats nothing but doubles for about 5 days on the trail. There are many variations on this. It was made popular by a YouTube video. There is something about the PCT thru-hiker that likes a challenge. No mind that thru-hiking the PCT is enough of a challenge. Many hikers push for a record distance day or decide to tackle the Sierras early when there is risk of dangerous snowstorms and there is deep snow and raging waters. Some carry extra frivolous weight such as large wooden rubber band rifles. It seems that there is nothing that a PCT thru-hiker would hesitate to add on to the already difficult challenge of completing a thru-hike. In the name of actually finishing this hike, I’m doing my best to resist the temptation to challenge and compete. I just hope the 50 sausage challenge goes well. As if tonight I’m down to 18 sausages. I had 10 mixed in with my Mountain House spaghetti. I had 3 in my oatmeal this morning. That is 13 in one day.
My 13 remaining sausages.
Today I reached 1000 miles hiked. Although I reached it on day 56, if you look at days 2 through 56 you see that 1000 miles were hiked in that 55 day period. Day 1 was only 4.4 miles because I didn’t start until 5:10pm. So, I’m calling it 55 days to hike 1000 miles. Pretty good for a 57 year old.
Some of the trail this morning was overgrown. See photo below of trail. Do you see it? Not complaining. This is part of hiking and to be expected in places. In the afternoon I came across trail where maintainers had recently cleared a broad 10 foot wide swath of undergrowth.
Here is Shasta in the morning.
Here is Shast later in. Clouds had moved in giving me a break from the heat.
Met 2 Percent and Tumbleweed who were from Virginia (near Damascus) and Alabama. They had wisely jumped up from Kennedy Meadows to Ashland to hike south. They had listened to the stories of those that entered the Sierras early and decided that wasn’t for them. Theae ère the only people I saw all day. Count of people seen equals 2. Count of bears equal 2.