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strangers on the trail?

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Re: strangers on the trail?

Postby STRETCHMAN » Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:15 pm

Last 4th of July,my wife and I just started hiking down the mountain from Bennettville to Tiogo Pass when noticed an older man(70-75) hiking up the trail.The odd thing was he was hiking the trail in ski boots,a ski helmet,and holding a pair of long downhill skies.There were only small patches of snow around and by the time the shock wore off, he had already passed us without us finding out where he was going. :eek:



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Re: strangers on the trail?

Postby balzaccom » Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:43 pm

Ha! I was once riding on a bus in SCotland, sitting behind the driver as we worked our way through the rain in the highlands. Suddenly we passed a fellow in a kilt riding a bicycle with a banjo strapped to his back.

The driver looked over his shoulder at me and said: "It's amazing what you see when you haven't got your gun!"
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Re: strangers on the trail?

Postby Snow Nymph » Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:28 pm

STRETCHMAN wrote:The odd thing was he was hiking the trail in ski boots,a ski helmet,and holding a pair of long downhill skies.There were only small patches of snow around . :eek:


There's a group of people called "Team Tie-Dye" that have a twenty-something year streak going for skiing every month of the year. They will find a patch of snow and squeeze 10 turns in and call it a day. My friend Tie-Dye Bill was at 15 years when I last saw him a few years ago, and another couple were at 20 years back then. I met up with them one time off season, and the patch of snow was solid ice. They were all skiers and they were really good. It wasn't fun for me on a board.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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Re: strangers on the trail?

Postby Bad Man From Bodie » Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:07 am

This is a great thread…….
Everyone has a couple of strange sierra stories, here is just one of the oddballs. I was on a water sampling/inventory/mission of the West Walker River watershead for the USFS. I was camping overnight on Sonora Peak in a serious rain/lightning storm. I had been bushwacking solo for about a week and had not seen anyone, when in the middle of the night, rain pouring down, lightning a-crashing, a guy with an M-16 , guilly suit and night vision over his head opened my small tent and scared the piss out of me. He apologized for his intrusion and just wanted to let me know that there would be war games in the area tonight and there was.
:snipe:
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Re: strangers on the trail?

Postby balzaccom » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:27 pm

That's right---the Marines train just the other side of Sonora Pass...and there are a few signs letting you know about it. It does take some of the bloom off the back country rose to run into those guys though, huh?
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Re: strangers on the trail?

Postby Bad Man From Bodie » Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:38 am

Yha, although I am a big supporter of the MWTC it does take a bit away from the experience when you run across them or some of their doings in the back country. I didn’t mind this time because I hadn’t seen anyone in a while but, I was a bit back there and didn’t expect that kind of greeting. It was a little freaky to say the least!
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Re: strangers on the trail?

Postby JMat » Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:49 pm

There are many I've run into over the years but there's one person that I ran into that I think about on a fairly regular basis.

My buddies and I had been backpacking between Lake Alpine and Sonora Pass along alot of the old pack trails and had pretty much stayed off of the PCT. We had just found a spot to camp near the headwater of the Clark Fork... It had been hot all day and now came the thunder and lightening so we found a spot to camp near the creek and prepared for the rain as we expeceted it to downpour.
We thought we were going crazy when we started hearing a voice and thought somebody must be camping near us. Turns out that wasn't the case... It was a 65-70 year old woman alone. She was hiking back down the trail looking for the campground at the road but didn't know the name. The only campground we knew down there was Clark Fork Campground but she was a good 8.5 miles away and it was about 7pm and this was mid-late August.
She didn't know where she was because that's not where she wanted to be and wasn't sure of where she had planned to be and had a fanny pack with 2 qts of water and that was it.
We figured she must have come from the Clark Fork Campground because our next day was 5 miles of x-country over a steep ridge to Hwy 108.
She had asked us for directions to "a" campground and as we asked her more questions trying to figure out this mystery she became agitated and wanted to leave. She didn't have a flashlight or raingears and didn't remember this being the trail she hiked up. We offered to put her up in a tent with a sleeping bag for the night but she didn't like that idea even though it would be dark in less than an hour and she had over 8 miles to go. After she started getting more agitated we gave her a flashlight and a trashbag with armholes cut into it for raingear and some snacks to last her a day because she was out of food. As she was leaving we told her to stay left at the only junction she would come to and that would take her to civilization. I even offered to hike back down their with her but she wasn't having it.
Needless to say we didn't sleep well that night but we did what we could. So the next day, after we hiked out ove the ridge we stopped a ranger station to report what we saw. The didn't have any missing persons reports so I gave them my contact info in case one came in and I followed the local papers and websites for the next month to see if anything ever came up. Didn't ever hear anything so I believe she must have finished the last 8.5 miles of her 17 mile trip that day. I still think about this. She did say she had people waiting for her but my question is... How?
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Re: strangers on the trail?

Postby gdurkee » Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:50 pm

What year was that? This year? About two years ago, there was a major search for a woman after her car was found abandoned about 10 miles west of the pass. She was never found. Always a hard choice in deciding how much help to offer someone; even harder when they refuse though are obviously outside their box.

Other than the woman mentioned, I know of no other missing people in the Sonora area (where I live in the winter).

Good work.

George
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Re: strangers on the trail?

Postby Tom » Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:28 pm

I have been reading these stories with some trepidation wondering if any were about me...thank goodness no.

In the late 60's, when there were ranger stations everywhere, I came off of a pass and ran into a backcountry ranger. After exchanging the usual pleasantries, he said that he was headed for some peak registers and would be back late in the day. If I wanted, I could camp at the edge of the meadow at the ranger station and he would check my wilderness permit later. Sounded good to me and as I turned to head down the trail I heard him say,"poke your head into the cabin and say hello to my old lady".

When I got to the cabin there was no one around so I found a campsite, set up and went back to the station. Still no one so I leaned against a wall and napped. When I woke a woman was standing in front of me holding a cantelope and some garden grown vegetables in the lap of her 'Granny" dress.

She asked if I had seen her old man and invited me in to chat. When I eneterd the cabin the thing that caught my eye was the bong an the table. She poured me a lemonade, started cutting up carrots asked if I wanted a hit. I declined, but when the ranger showed up and offered...well it was the 60's. What an enjoyable sunset that evening.
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Re: strangers on the trail?

Postby JMat » Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:40 pm

gdurkee wrote:What year was that? This year? About two years ago, there was a major search for a woman after her car was found abandoned about 10 miles west of the pass. She was never found. Always a hard choice in deciding how much help to offer someone; even harder when they refuse though are obviously outside their box.

Other than the woman mentioned, I know of no other missing people in the Sonora area (where I live in the winter).Good work.

No... This was about 11 years ago. But it's one of those things I still think about when I'm out in the backcountry. My buddies and I had already hiked about 11 miles that day with pretty heavy packs and we were fried so we would've been hard pressed to hike back with her even without our packs.
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Re: strangers on the trail?

Postby hawkfeather » Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:13 pm

In August 2002 my husband and I were doing our version of the JMT and had just come down out of the Ram Lakes basin and stopped at Virginia Lake for lunch. As we sat there, 2 older women came barreling along, headed south like us. They stopped to chat for a few minutes, as people often do when they meet on the trail, and we learned they were also doing the JMT and were doing it without any food resupply. We asked how they were doing it, and the answer was dried bean paste. Apparently they were mixing it with cold water for breakfast, lunch and dinner or whenever they felt hungry, and that was it. After they charged off again, we kind of looked at each other. We never saw them again; obviously, we had no hope of keeping up with the bean-powered, and we broke up our trip by spending a few days in Mono Hot Springs with our son and his girlfriend. Since then, we've done various things to lighten our backpacking load, and when one of us thinks the other is getting carried away, that party gets threatened with bean paste.

Somewhat later on the same trip (south of Muir Pass?? can't remember), we rounded a bend and there were two people headed the other way wearing what looked like white hazmat suits. I think they may have been from Japan; their English was very limited. But they seemed to be having a good time.

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Re: strangers on the trail?

Postby rightstar76 » Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:00 pm

Years ago my wife and I decided to hike the Coast Trail from Palomarin Beach to Bass Lake. This is a popular trail in Point Reyes National Seashore and there were lots of people. Somewhere near the lake I heard the sound of bells. I turned around and saw the oddest sight. Several people wearing plastic masks and silk gowns with bells hanging off their sides came walking down the trail. Each person was wearing a different color costume. In addition, each person wore a "hat" that looked to be made out of a silk/plastic/metallic material and was at least six inches high. I have never seen such a thing in my life and I haven't seen anything like it since. They walked by silently not saying a word. You couldn't see their faces because of their masks. However, you could hear their bells loud and clear. I'll never forget it.
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