Da Bears

Day 122

After such an eventful day yesterday we woke up groggy and still sore from the bonus miles hiked last night- as we were stalked by a mountain lion.

We rolled out of camp and made our way on the day. Everyone has been a bit quieter as we continue north. We've been at this for over four months. I feel like we are finally letting ourselves become part of the environment, instead of just walking through it. How do I know this? More animals.

It may be hard to believe but bears, mountain lions and rattlesnakes are much more scared of you than the other way around. People tend to ask us two questions: 1. Have you seen any bears 2. Do you carry a gun?

Usually the answer is no and no, and people are surprised. But, when it comes down to it, carrying a handgun on the PCT is ridiculous. It weighs a few pounds; is illegal in national parks; and when it comes down to it, if you were actually attacked by a rabid mountain lion you wouldn't have enough time to take it out of your pack, load a round, aim and shoot before the animals has snapped your spine.

But up and until recently we haven't been in much contact with our larger friends of the mountains. But, as our talks dwindle to long, solitude filled, speechless stretches we are starting to see bear, elk and other big animals for the first time! Besides the mountain lion stalking us last night we haven't been worried by the activity, we usually send the beasts running. Even the swarms of bees buzzing between the endless flowers all day don't care when we knock them off their lunches of sweet pollen.

As we continue to glide through northern California, we find ourselves camped out at the thousand miles left mark point and will step foot in Oregon tomorrow!

I continue to delve into a more meditative, quiet and reflective journey.

- Andy