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[at-l] Update: Flight of the Spirit Eagle



First, two corrections.
Obviously, they have been no where near Yosemite. (blush)
I should have typed Yellowstone or maybe Jellystone for Yogi's fans.
and although they do have a room with a phone, they cannot receive
calls....go figure.

And now more of the tale.....

In Yellowstone they walked for considerable time through the area that
suffered in the big fires.  It is rejuvenating  with grasses and many
wildflowers and seedlings now approaching chest high.  With such
an abundance of growth they have seen more wildlife including
moose, elk and deer.  Which reminds me that I failed to tell you of
their close encounter of the moose kind that happened a week or
so ago.  Ginny was filtering water when she heard a commotion
behind her.  Since it was much to much ruckas for Jim to be causing,
she was more than a bit startled and slowly turned to see if she was
about to be bear lunch.  Surprise...not a bear but a big 'ole bull moose
eyeing her from waaay toooo close.  As she tried to get her feet under
her for a quick retreat, the moose and she watched each other warily.
Just as she was about to call Jim, the moose turn and announced his
presence to Jim himself.  As it strolled into camp, Jim and the bull had
a similar mutual observation until the moose moved off with a snort.
I guess he was just curious as to who was in his backyard and I think
he behaved most graciously considering Ginny was using HIS water. <g>.

OK.back to current report.

Leaving Yellowstone behind they hit the Teton Wilderness with great 
expectations
of more animal sightings.  And they have seen a lot of animals but they are all
horses.  And not wild mustangs but pack trains......numbering as many as
80 horses a day.....as many as 28 in a bunch.  Now Jim is more understanding
of horses than I am so the following is a brief  exercise of editor's 
privilege.

I understand that there are people who would rather ride than walk.  Heck I 
have
ridden in CO.  But why in the world do they need to take soooo much stuff 
with them.
Some of the trains had a four to one ratio of pack horses to people horses.
Must they have ice chests and steak and cold beer and foam mattresses and cots
and everything else that was packed on all those horses?  Can't they be content
to just BE THERE with the luxury of not having to hike their?  Do they have 
to live
it up while they are there?  Really trying to keep this rant brief, but i 
just don't understand
why anyone would need three horses worth of stuff to spend 5-7 days in the 
woods.
And if the powers that be want to authorize this kind of luxury backcountry 
experience,
why can't they allow the outfitter's to establish semi permanent 
camps....leave the
canvas wall tents and the stoves and the cots and such in place for a 
couple weeks
and reduce the number of horses needed to haul all that stuff.

Well.....off my soap box.
Jim only said that the trails were well graded because of the horses and 
that there
wouldn't be trails there at all except for the horses, but does admit that 
the horses
make a helluva mess.  The trail areas is often 20 ft wide with multiple 
tracks and
we all know what horses to any water hole...mudhole city.  Even when they camp
well off the trail, the dust cloud raised by 20-30 horses at a time drifts 
into camp
and covers everything.  There is one attraction that pack train camps have 
for hikers.....
Excellent yogi-ing  possibilities <grin>.  Jim and Ginny did come across 
one camp
near suppertime and visions of a beer to wash the horse dust out of their 
throats
danced in their heads.  But wouldn't you know it....it was a girl's school 
outing....
no brewskies allowed.

Well that's it for now.  They did say they would check the town library for
internet access so maybe they might be able to write something themselves.

Almost forgot....they had multiple sightings of a very rare breed indeed....
other long distance hikers!!!!!  They met a guy and girl..his name Dean Wooton
I think, who were doing a big section hike NB.  Meeting other hikers is so 
rare,
they dropped pack and sat in the middle of the trail and talked for hours!!!!

They also know of two other NBers....Andy Quinn and Dick Mallory.  I can't
tell from my notes which one of these they have actually met and which one they
only saw from a distance, but from all reports, that's the last of the 99 
NBers so
unless they catch up to or are passed by other SBers, it will be a lonely trail
from here on.  A lot different from the AT or even the CDT..huh gang......
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