Day 117 7-20-07
Box Camp Trail – Seiad Valley
28.8 miles; 1662.1 (59.36) total miles; 3523.76 trip miles
High 70’s, sunny with some clouds, and chilly
Deer count is 98
Marmot count is 51
Bear count is 6
Rattlesnake count is 6
Pika count is 2
!!!The Bears have taken the podium back in the early hours of the day. They sent out their first “black” bears. With the cooler temps, it will be hard for the rattlesnakes to counter!!!
I slept great last night and didn’t want to get up this morning. It was pretty chilly and windy. I got up finally at 6:45 and was hiking by 7:07 AM. I descended right away and traversed the bowl I was camped above. As I was walking through a pine forest, I thought “I haven’t seen a bear in a while and this is a great spot for a bear.” My nose was running due to the cold, so I sniffled and then spit. As I did a medium size black bear about 100 yards below me on the slope took off running. I continued up the slope hoping I might see him again from a different angle. I got half way across an open field on the slope and had given up seeing him again. Just then I saw him. He had his front paws up on a fallen tree and was looking around like he was trying to decide where to go. He hopped down and started back my way, but I lost him in the trees once again.
I made my way to Paradise Lake where I saw 2 tents and one guy standing next to one of them. Just down around the next bend, I was spooked by a barking dog. Her name was Bella. Her owner was getting down the food bags. I stopped and talked to him and then the first guy I saw came down from the tents. We all talked a bit then I got a move on.
I got to the junction of Bear Lake/Turk Lake and the terrain changed from the whitish marble to a red stone and soil. I then walked Big Ridge in which I went in and out of forests along a grassy rolling ridge. When I got to Buckhorn Spring, it was the start of a 24 mile downhill.
I made my way all the way to Road 46N72/Cold Spring creek, where I had myself lunch. It wasn’t long before I started seeing poison oak after the first footbridge. I stopped at the second footbridge and put on my pant legs. I felt much better about walking through all the overgrown brush. The trail was pretty bad in this regard. I finally got to the bottom of the descent and Grider Creek Campground. I then had to navigate a bunch of dirt roads until I reached Highway 96. I had a few ATV’s ask me if I wanted a ride but had to decline. The road walking hurt my feet. Once to the highway, I still had 1.5 miles to walk to get to town.
When I got to town, I found out Thirsty Boots was just here this morning. I got a bunch of snacks at the store and headed to the RV Park. At the park I met the couple I first saw in Etna, Patrick and Meggy. They took the day off since Patricks feet were hurting. I cooked dinner and then made some phone calls. Patrick told me there was some aquamira in the hiker box, which was a lifesaver since I was almost out of Part A. After dinner I took a shower and it was off to bed.
Scatman 2011- The start to this day was beautiful but unfortunately it did end with a very long road walk. Not only was it boring and lacked any views it beat up my feet. I didn’t know it but I was in real need of the new shoes I was expecting to get in the mail. Seeing the black bear was really cool since I was as I said thinking it would be a perfect place for one. The cool mornings were nice after the heat wave coming out of Belden Town a ways back. By now I was completely in the swing of hiking solo and my daily routine had become second nature to me. I didn’t think twice about it. I only worried about getting my packages and fires!
Get out there!