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What Bears do in the Woods

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What Bears do in the Woods

Postby balzaccom » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:53 pm

Thought you might emjoy this story from last summer...it's in the humor section of the new website we are creating about backpacking the sierra.


We'd had a lovely hike to Showers Lake on the Pacific Crest Trail, south of Lake Tahoe. The lake was beautiful, and because we were there in mid-September, there was only one other group. We'd had a nice visit with them and their hound dog earlier in the evening, when they had found our bottle of wine chilling in the stream...and wanted to make sure that it wasn't litter.

That evening, M and I had noticed a bear bag, hanging in a tree, slowly twisting in the wind. The story it told was sad: someone had strung their food up there to protect it from bears. But we could see how the cord had become twisted, and the bag got stuck, way too high for any human to reach. It looked as if they had tied a knife onto a stick, and cut the bottom out of the bag, allowing the food to fall out. But also leaving the sad sack hanging like a corpse in the tree.

The next morning I woke up first ( as I always do ) and set about getting breakfast ready. And while M got into her clothes, I realized it was time for me to make a trip into the woods to do what bears do there. I got our trowel and TP, and worked my way down a slope well away from both camp and lake. There I found a nice spot, with a log to lean on and soft soil to dig.

Once prepared, I dropped my drawers and settled in. And as I did so, I thought I might have heard a low rumbling, a bit like a growl.

"Hmmm," I thought. "Awkward moment to be surprised by a bear."

But I didn't hear it again, and once again settled in against the log.

And that's when I heard it again. No mistake this time. It was a low growling rumble, and it was coming from not too far away, behind me. This was not good.

I slowly turned my head--realizing that with my pants around my ankles, I wasn't going anywhere fast.

And that's when I saw him: the hound dog from the other camp. He has seen me disappear, and wanted to make sure that I wasn't going to cause any trouble.

I smiled and said a few enouraging words to him. He stayed at attention, but stopped growling. I said a few more words, and he slowly turned his head and walked back to his camp, minding his own business.

As I did mine.

Another close call in the woods!

If you want, check our more humor

http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/



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Re: What Bears do in the Woods

Postby hikerduane » Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:24 pm

I was looking for a spot in the middle of the day, by North Wire Lake in the Emigrant Wilderness with Pooch along also. I got out of the need quickly. Surprised to see a bear in the middle of the day.
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Re: What Bears do in the Woods

Postby giantbrookie » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:15 pm

This reminds me of one night at Virginia Lake (the one near Purple Lake S. of Duck Pass). Just before ending the day and getting into the tent.... so you don't have to get up in the middle of the night... In the darkness I heard branches breaking and and the sounds of a very large animal. The sounds were getting closer. I got a bit concerned (may have hastened the process). The sounds got closer still. Comically, I uttered some low growling noises, hoping to sound like a very large and threatening animal in return. Still the sounds got closer. I growled some more. A few seconds later I saw the light of some headlamps. It turned out to some backpackers coming in very late. Hoping not to be seen, I quietly slithered away back to my tent and crawled in.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: What Bears do in the Woods

Postby balzaccom » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:14 am

LOL--lovely story! My wife also tells the story of picking a spot in the middle of the woods, far from the creek I was fishing...only to discover rather unexpectedly that it was only a few yards from a horse trail...

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check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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Re: What Bears do in the Woods

Postby hikerduane » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:14 pm

That reminds me. On a group trip on the Lost Coast this last Spring, the last morning out I was "high tiding" and wasn't quite finished when some abalone hunters came up out of the water, they were kinda hard to see as their black wet suits blended in with the wet rocks. At my age, was hard to get too bothered.:)
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Re: What Bears do in the Woods

Postby oldranger » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:23 pm

This is a really crappy thread! ;)

mike
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Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: What Bears do in the Woods

Postby BSquared » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:37 am

Hey, c'mon, Mike, the reason I sign on to this board is to get the Hot Poop!
—B²
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Re: What Bears do in the Woods

Postby rlown » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:41 am

This thread is making me think that there's hardly a safe place to step in the Wilderness anymore. :moon:
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Re: What Bears do in the Woods

Postby hikerduane » Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:49 pm

Party pooper.
Piece of cake.
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