So this week you probably were thinking that this athlete training for an October marathon was out doing her long run...FALSE. For the second weekend in a row I have been hiking with the hubby. The weekend before last was luxurious with day hikes and an over night in a comfy hotel. Well not this weekend, this weekend was a little more rugged. We left town late on Friday night and found a camp site about 15 miles away from our trailhead to stay over. We got there around 9:30 PM, made camp, a small fire and got through the night getting acclimated to the elevation (about 6800 ft).
Saturday we headed to our trail head, threw on our not so lightly packed 20 lb backpacks and were on our way with cousins A & R. Love couples camping trips. We started up our trail, so we thought, and not so quickly realized, 3/4 of a mile up, that we were on the wrong trail. Our total elevation change on the trail we were supposed to take was 200 ft. Pretty easy 5.4 miles. Well in 3/4 we covered an 800 foot climb. Yup, we went from 6300 ft to 7100 ft. Then, in case this wasn't fun enough, we decided the shortest route to the lower trail was not backtracking, but scaling down a gorgey style drop. Did I mention I am terrified of steep drop offs, like paralyzing kind of fear. Some how I survived the climb down and we found the trail we were supposed to take.
As we are strolling along a 1 mile segment that is more of a horse trail than a hiking path we saw LOTS of bear Sh*&, L-O-T-S. Yes I read the sign at the trailhead that read "You are in Bear Country", but I don't think I really comprehended it until this one mile stretch. We got to our camp spot, it was cozy, I brought a book to read, but 30 pages in I was ready for a nap. I slept for 3 hours while the hubby and A fly-fished.
Upon waking around 4:45 PM I realized I should probably wash up before it got too cold. So cousin R and I went our separate ways to the river to clean up. Upon return, A said something along the lines of how we took a "Ho Shower." When he saw my confusion, he explained that since we did not fully submerge and only washed the "Hot Spots" that it is considered a Ho Shower. So what is more motivating on a Monday than a good quality real shower.
In other news, I had my first semi-Bear encounter. Yes at 3:30 am on Sat/Sun there was a little nudge to our tent opening. The moonlight was so bright all I could see was the bear's silhouette. It felt like an eternity that he just stood there and stared at our tent. I was too afraid to wake up the hubby for fear he would scare the bear and provoke him to lunge at the tent, so I just laid there trying to control my breathing and heart rate. After a while when I went from trying to talk myself out of the fact that I was seeing an actual bear, I started to shake uncontrollably. I have never been more afraid in my life. Once I was confident the bear was gone, I woke up my husband. He thought I was cold and hugged me. I looked at him and said, "I don't think I can ever go camping again." Yes tears were welling up in my eyes and I told him there had been a bear outside our tent. My hubby said he was sorry, hugged me and promptly fell right back asleep. Nice huh! At least I got flowers out of the deal next morning.
I don't know how I was able to sleep for a couple more hours, but I did. And for fun on our hike out on Sunday we decided to count the bear poop on Bear Sh&% Trail, Guess what? It was WAY more than I thought, 79 separate droppings. Some dusty and old, some fresh, but literally a total of 79 just in the 1 mile segment.
Any tips on what I should have done about the Bear? Google says try and scare the bear, but trying not to make a sound seems to have worked for me.
- That a bear didn't eat me
- That I have the resources to shower daily, seriously folks, a Ho Shower is just sad
- That I killed our hike both days and was easily conquering any up hills