7/29/15 Day 96 Knoll M1949.5 to 8C9 Campsite M1975 7958′

Tent – Nights Spent Alone: 12

25.5, 1809.9 Trip Miles

Mostly Sunny

Day’s of Snow: 8 – Day’s of Rain: 35 – Days of Hail: 17

# of Zero days: 11

Gila Crossings Final Total:  221

Tick Count: 4 (4 more crawling on me)

Wanted List

Mountain Goat

Grizzly Bear

Sasquatch

Black Bear

Bighorn Sheep

Velociraptor

Mountain Lion

Beaver

Unicorn

Wolf

Buffalo

Critter Count

4 Chipmunks

4 Squirrels

Totals

1) 613 Pronghorn*

2) 383 Elk*7

3) 209 Chipmunks *5

4) 168 Deer*2

5) 152 Marmot*4

6) 120 Lizards*6

7) 116 Wild Horses

8) 86 Squirrels *9

9) 58 Ground Squirrels*10

10) 54 Pika

11) 46 Cotton Tail Rabbits *8

12) 30 Prairie Dogs

13) 22 Horny Toads

14) 17 Jack Rabbit*3

15) 14 Moose

16) 8 Snakes

17) 5 Coyotes

18) 5 Moles

19) 3 Porcupine

20)  2 Fox

21) 2 Rattle Snakes

22) 2 Toads

23) 1 Badger

24) 1 Mouse

25) 1 Skunk

26) 1 Weasel

*259 from car, *2 – 48 from car, *3 – 1 from car, *4 – 2 from car, *5 – 1 off trail, *6 – 1 off trail, *7 – 9 from car, *9 – 1 from car, *10 – 5 off trail

It was the coldest night since northern New Mexico when I stayed at Brazo’s Ridge. My whole tarp was coated in a layer of frost in the am.

She-ra and I were going pretty quick but it took a while to get warmed up. We saw plenty of horse activity once again but no horses. I didn’t mention yesterday but from Brooks Mtn Lodge till now it’s been a horse highway. Tons of tracks, and chewed up trail. It’s not terrible but at times there’s many trails all going the same place.

We ran into Iceman, then Krammer and Beads. Shortly after it was Machine Gunner and Hand Stand. They all flipped and we’re headed south bound. Iceman saw two grizzlies the day before. Today I saw the most bear shit I’ve seen even in one day, but still no bears. She-ra and I did a great job at talk each other’s ear off so that might have had something to do with the lack of wildlife.

She-ra didn’t have a permit so I left her at the border of the park. She can not camp inside the park until she gets one. I’m now three miles ahead of her. I’m alone at Crooked Creek Campsite. I expected people to be here.

I also expected there to be a bear locker or bear pole. When I got here I only found two horizontal logs chained between three trees. I was never told I needed a rope to bear bag my food. I was pissed. I’ll tell you why. As a thru-hiker most nights you try not to sleep in established campsites.  They usually attract animals who get accustom to people leaving food or food being there to steal.

So when I’m forced to sleep in grizzly country and at campsites that are over used and every bear in the park knows every campsite and I get there to find no bear vault or pole I get pissed. The ranger giving me my permit should have told me I needed a rope to hang my food.

Luckily for me there was a short piece someone had left hanging from the pole. I had to climb the tree to get it and my food is half assed hung but it’s better than nothing. I really hope it’s okay in the am. I also saw a squirrel while cooking. I worry more about them than the bears.

I’ll admit it wasn’t all their fault. I should have been prepared. Maybe the guide book should have had a note…

Scatman

Brand Ambassador for: Outdoor Research, SuperFeet, Ibex, Julbo, Petzl, Dude Wipes, Platypus, ClifBar, Feed The Machine, and Aqua Mira

@scatmanat

Get out there!

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