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[pct-l] Hiking is a very simple life

Just came back from a section hike (Walker Pass to Whitney).  We saw Mama Bear 
and her 2 cubs in Spanish Needle Creek area as they were coming up the canyon 
near the creek.  

In general, we cooked our meals near a water source, then headed out and put a 
few more miles in after dinner.  Saw lots of bear scat and prints, generally 
below the 9000 ft level.  We carefully hung our food every night, even if we 
arrived at a suitable location after dark.  We always used common sense:  If 
water is scarce, dont camp near the water source.  Dont camp right off the trail.  
Look for good trees where we could hang the food high enough.  Always kept our 
food in plastic within plastic within a bag to minimize food odor.

I found 4 nylon bear ropes, which appeared to be cut forcefully, probably by 
bear.  Each of these ropes were hung in what I considered a ridiculous placement.  
They were too low, too close to the main part of the tree, next to a water source 
or too close to a trail (near a saddle).

For us, after finding a suitable camp area, the first chore is to setup the tent.  
The second is to hang a rope for bear bagging.  Protecting our food is essential, 
but nothing to be paranoid about.  

We hike, we rest, we enjoy the fantastic views and we talk about anything we want 
to talk about or not.  Life on that short trip was very simple, fun and relaxing.  
But now, as I read the last 10 days worth of PCT list posts, everything appears 
complicated.  Everbody has a point to make and defend.  This turns into bickering 
and bashing ... This is not the life we experience on the trail.  If only we 
could somehow retain that simplicity in our daily lives.  How can we continue the 
"hike" in our daily lives?

Ernest Chavez
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