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2007-06-07 Meadows and a Bear

June 7th, 2007

By crikey it was cold last night. It was quite a while before we reached sunlight this morning and my fingers were going numb until then. Becks Meadow was a welcome site. After all the desert and grit I was so glad to finally see miles and miles of lush green grass. We skirted the edge of it and made it to the famous swallow nest bridge over South Fork Kern River where Old Corpus was filling his bottles.

PCT sign

Swallow Bridge

It was a long gentle climb into Cow Canyon and the shade. It was somewhere in here that we lost the path. We trudged up a dusty slope where people had clearly been but it was too steep to be the official PCT. Eventually we hit the path and had to watch for foot steps to workout the direction of travel. We stopped for lunch and not long after that I saw something uphead jump onto a tree trunk. We froze and watched intently until the bear, about the size of a big arm chair, jumped back down and bounded off to the left.

The first thing I did was whip out my camera, give my apple to Dad and carry my poles so we wouldn’t scare it if it was near. This is probably the worst thing you could do short of smearing yourself in honey and sitting near a water source. So we quickly switched to talking and stomping our poles and we never saw the bear again.

After crossing the day’s peak of about 10,600ft we came down towards Gomez Meadow but the light was fading fast and we had to camp about a mile short. Everything with a smell (apart from my stinky socks) went into the bear-proof canisters and they were placed in a tangle of logs that would crack and rustle to alert us if our food was under attack. Another cold night but I cowboy camped to save the tent hassle. I think that’ll be the last time I do that for a while.

More photos of this day’s journey can be found at Kennedy Meadows to Crabtree Meadows

Distance today: 18.3 miles. Total distance: 727.4 miles

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