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[pct-l] bears and berries

Back from the Bailey Range in the Olympics. Much more snow than normal, with
4' drifts surviving still at 4000'. Saw several goats, the usual deer, a herd
of 40+ elk and only 1 bear -- probably because the berries weren't ripe yet
-- and he avoided me. We saw only one other party (from Kentucky) and they
were carrying bear barrels because the Visitor Center strongly recommended
them. But the back country ranger station where we checked in merely
suggested them. So nobody took one. In two weeks, the berries will be getting
ripe. Then there will be no more hungry bears, just gorged ones. I have
watched bears lick berries off of bushes from sun up to sun down on a
mountainside, utterly oblivious to people in the area. I think berry season
is the safest time to be around bears because there is way more than enough
food around to sate their appetites. Just don't try to share the same bush!
 Most of us got in the Park free and paid no user fees because we had
volunteer passes for doing trail maintenance
  No longer getting bogus pct e-mails

 My advice to someone starting out backpacking. Each time you go out, fix
whatever caused you discomfort the last time out. Other options: suffer
and/or give up