[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[at-l] Bear 1 - The Redhead 0

The best laid plans of mice and men . . . well, I think I need to send my 
HATT stuff back, as I didn't really earn it this weekend.  About a mile from 
Curley Maple Gap shelter, I came around a curve to find a really nice, big 
bear in front of me.  I'm not sure who was more surprised - it or me.  
Luckily I had stopped for a potty break right before then, if you get my 
drift. :-)  I probably wouldn't have been quite as scared as I was if it 
hadn't been for that lady getting eaten by one recently.  So after I unfroze, 
I started banging my LAKE-EE's together, yelling things like go way.  please. 
 go.  It stood up and stared at me, probably thinking, "geesh, this is one 
freaked out weird lady" . . . then it apparently thought it might catch my 
insanity if it came closer, so it got back down on all fours, turned around 
and started walking away - in the same direction I wanted to go.  So I found 
myself with a choice - follow the bear, or turn around and hike back out to 
the road.  Call me a wimp - but I decided NOT to follow the bear.  (By the 
way, I didn't see a soul all day on the Trail).  So I hiked out to Indian 
Grave Gap (in about an hour less than it had taken me to hike in - go figure 
<g>) and as I was descending down the steps to the road, intending to make it 
to Uncle Johnnys and start over from there (hopefully bear free), I tripped 
on one of the steps and and fell and twisted my knee pretty badly.  So I 
tucked my tail between my legs and went home . . . an ignomious end to my 
WETT HATT hike . . . :(

Sunday a friend and I met Toney at Spivey Gap, our scheduled handshake site, 
and camped there with him and a friend of his.  Hung out all night talking to 
two northbounders who are going from Springer to PA somewhere.  I guess I'll 
file Toneys trip report when he gives it to me.  He went very light, partly 
due to the fact that we usually use the same gear, never having hiked 
separately on the same weekend.  He was carrying a poncho and a tarp for his 
shelter, but ended up staying in shelters each night.  He was carrying esbit 
tablets and a tuna can stove, I'll have to get more details on how that 
worked out for him.  He was carrying a sleeping bag liner as his bag.  A 
platypus hydration bag.  Not sure about food and water weight, but his 
mountainsmith was definitely the lightest it has ever been, as we usually 
pack pretty heavy.  It helped him make the miles, though, because he had a 
longer section, about 35 miles I think?, and did it starting Friday and made 
it to Spivey by about 5:30 on Sunday.  He missed his handshake with person 
doing the section south of him, but left him a note, and found out later from 
the two northbounders that he got there shortly after Toney left.  Kahley, 
I'll get you his info for the shelters and water sources sometime tonight.

I must say that the couple of places I always got water was pretty dry, even 
the stream at Spivey Gap was very low compared to the other times I've been 
thru there.  It surprised me, considering the rainfall we've had in the past 
few months.  He said that from where he started til he hit Jerrys Cabin the 
water sources were either very small or non-existant, but the rest of his 
section was pretty good on water.  Both he and the northbounders said the 
shelters were trashed (literally, I mean, a lot of trash), and they were all 
carrying bags of trash they packed out from the previous few shelters.

For myself - hiking alone was truly wonderful (until I met the bear, anyway), 
and it gave me a lot of time to just think about things, and the way they've 
worked out.  I stopped where Mom and I camped on her first overnight 
backpacking trip - it was both sad and happy to be there, and remember that 
hike with her, how happy and excited she was at the time, what a great time 
we had that night.  I was wearing her boots, as mine finally blew out on that 
easter hike with woodelf.  Surprisingly they fit well, but I think thicker 
insoles will be needed for me - the bottoms of my feel were kind of sore, I 
don't think the soles are as thick as the ones on my Merrells.  As always the 
Leki's were a life saver - I can't imagine hiking without them ever again.  
My pack was the lightest it's been, despite the heavy tent.  But - I feel 
cheated that I didn't get to do my whole section, so I guess I'm no longer a 
MADhatter :(  

Oh well - there is always next year . . . 

The (hurted knee) Redhead

* From the AT-L |  Need help? http://www.backcountry.net/faq.html  *