Andy has found his Trail Name, meets a suicidal Dutch section hiker and more... read on.
Hope all is well in the motherland. I have now completed about 350 miles, and what a journey so far.
Had my first bear encounter the other day and managed to avoid him by about 200 yards. I spotted him (or her?) walking along the trail towards me up at about 6000 feet in the middle of a very hot day – bears are not supposed to be there. There was a strong cross wind so my pepper spray would have been as useful as trying to spray paint a car in a wind tunnel. I had a cliff below, a steep one about 200 yards above me, and I couldn't go back as apparently they are like dogs and will follow. I breathed a sigh of relief when I was several miles away. Just the previous day a ranger showed me a stuffed adult grizzly that had been hit by a truck. He joked with me about watching out for its twin brother, which ironically my bear looked like this!
Anyhow I entered the Bob Marshall Wilderness and covered 120 miles before seeing a road. In fact I only saw about 10 people the whole way. Went through maybe 40 miles of burnt forest had to negotiate many wind blown areas and ford rivers. I was worried about this as I had heard tales of others that had already given up because of the terrain. Still the late start made them well safe to cross. Sorted!
Now the challenge had turned to heat and lack of water, had 20 miles the other day without any, which is good training for the desert areas to come.
I hiked 'the Bob' with Arlette a Dutch girl whose trail name was 'Apple Pie', who got fed up with her friend Rhino who was not very talkative. Worst of all Rhino would not hang her food, and would eat food in tent – that’s like suicide in bear country!! Needless to say I was nervous when we shared the same campsite. Arlette has gone back to California now and I m on my own again, busy making up songs like:
Yeti yeti yeti man
I will let you know when the album is released.
I had a good chat with two guys from Arizona who were 'prospecting' before getting back to my 20 miles a day routine, which I am just about hitting now.
What a country, people, landscape – absolutely top notch!
Trail Name – Dry Foot Wet Foot