Wednesday, 3 September 2008

escape from bear valley

Snow storms and bear scat. 'Wild' West finds bushwhacking is a little more hair raising that just tramping down nettles on the North Downs Way.

Hi All,

Another quickie from the library. Sorry don't have time to send individual emails, you know the score 1/2 hr time limit.

Just escaped the 'Wind river range' via a 40 mile rd walk, due to a cold front. It was a good call as they had snow of 4'' and a lot of rain. Autumn is here I think. Just moving on today trying to get to Colorado ASAP due to snow in the high mountains being a threat as September goes on.

'Escape from bear valley' - quick!
Got a lift from West Yellowstone town, via a friend of the librarian! Cool, as it was about 25 miles He even bought me a drink and cake. The parting words that didn't really inspire me with confidence were,
'your entering some mighty dangerous country boy!!'
Oh my God. First night in I slept within a fortress of young pine, and hung my food a good distance away, I needed my GPS to find it!!
20 miles in, I was in the park and came across two rangers on horses, 'Just picked up a radio collar from a 500 pound male (a grizzly)... he's around here somewhere.'
Ok so I was glad to share camp with a northbound CDT hiker that night.
Through Old Faithful I hadn't seen any scat nor any prints so I started to wonder where all the 'grizzlies' were, Strange. Then 35-45 miles in I got to 'Snake river.' I started to find scat pretty regular, then prints, then scat then - shit! - bear scat every 10 feet - NO LIE! Came to a junction and lost the trail. Guide book said 'bushwhack down the river.' I started and just found masses of bear 'signs', in the first 10 feet. 'If you offered me a thousand pounds I wouldn't walk through those bushes!!'
I was certain there were a shit-load of shitting bears, sleeping off their midnight snacks in the 90 degree heat of the day. I started to get scared; real scared!
I thought ok, one bear yes, I can handle that but it seems as if there were whole teams of the critters somewhere in the bush!
I continued and made it down the Snake river without seeing any, just shit loads of shit!
That night I found grizzly prints close to the camp on the path. Just sniffing about I guess. For sure, I was lucky for sure to escape bear valley!
(there was an attack recently where a grizzly went through this guys tent and gave him 'a chew.' They tried to trap the critter but still 'at large' in Yellowstone. He had a clean tent - no food or smelly's.)


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