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[pct-l] Embarrassing question

It's possible that the sound you heard was a bird:
(raucous,howling,moaning evil sound woke me right up. I thought it was going 
past me on the trail when all of a sudden it was back on the other side of 
me going the opposite way.)
I used to work in New Mexico for the forest service looking for spotted 
owls, so I was often out tromping around in the woods in the middle of the 
night. I was in an area that had a fair amount of black bear activity and so 
was a bit spooked when I heard a strange groaning noise coming from behind a 
bush ahead, then from a bush behind. After a moment of panic I realized that 
two nighthawks were swooping after insects nearby. After checking the field 
guide, sure enough, they make that otherworldly sound while in flight (these 
guys occur in dry, desert type habitats in the southwest which includes 
southern ca). If it was about dusk or dawn when you heard it then this might 
be the same critter.
There are of course other harmless night critters that make some pretty hair 
raising sounds - screech owls, armadillo in the leaves, etc... In the pitch 
dark they are all giant bears. Thank goodness I now backpack where it 
doesn't get dark and so if it is a bear I know pretty quick...maybe its 
better not knowing...because chances are it is a griz.
On topic, I too have a hard time going to sleep when I first go out on a 
hike but after a couple of days of non-sleep I am so exhausted I sleep on 
the third night. I'm a very light sleeper in civilization but while on my AT 
thru hike I could even sleep in shelters with lots of snorers. It's amazing 
what exhaustion will do for your insomnia. christin
>From: "Marge Prothman" To: "Brian Davis" , Subject: RE: [pct-l] 
>Embarrassing question Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 07:04:11 -0600
>On the PCT hiking towards Camp Anza I was sleeping out alone without the 
>tent. I was at a junction where a old road and the trail joined. I slept 
>just off the trail in the open.
>Somehow, I got into a bunch of red fire ants and got about 20 bites on one 
>leg. Gosh, they did hurt. I washed my leg, put some ointment on, but that 
>did not help, the leg burned all night long.
>I was feeling very sorry for myself. I finally got to sleep, when the most 
>racause,howling,moaning evil sound woke me right up. I thought it was going 
>past me on the trail when all of a sudden it was back on the other side of 
>me going the opposite way. I sat up in my sleeping bag with the hood over 
>my head, I was in a crouched over sitting position and I blew my whistle 
>for a good half hour. I still do not know what it was, but it appeared to 
>be low off the ground. I did not sleep much that night. I was very scared. 
>I dozed on and off and wished for an end to the night. Marge (the old gal)
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