Pacific Crest Trail (2018) 11: Bearish

Wednesday, June 06, 2018 – 11.40 miles

A loud brring sound and underbrush noises woke me up at 5:30 AM today. In retrospect I suspect that the brrr was made by an annoying variety of bird that makes a loud sound when taking off, but at the time I interpreted it as potentially bearish, and was alarmed when I heard more scuffling a short while later. I had nothing scented in my tent except my dirty hiker self, so a normal bear had no reason to hang around. I didn’t want to open the tent doors because I’ve seen Backcountry twice, and the bear attacked when the hikers opened the tent door, as if it needed a visual to guess whether they were filled with delicious chocolate nougat or cherry cream. After sitting in silence for awhile, I decided to play loud music to scare it off. THE UNDERBRUSH SOUNDS APPROACHED MY TENT. At that point I started thinking human. Hey, gentle reader, if you were wordlessly mucking about a tent on the stated morning, please identify yourself so I can murder you. It occurred to me though that I was playing ‘Before I’m Dead’ by Kidneythieves, which is exactly the type of music that a murderous bear would enjoy. I should have had some pop music, though I can also imagine the phone playing ‘Do you ever feel like a plastic bag drifting through the wind’ and the bear nodding sagely like ‘I emphasize with that’.

Eventually the forest was quiet enough and the time was late enough that I got up and packed. Wendy of the Lost Boys hiked up and told me that some hikers had passed her early in the morning – the noises? Also she had camped at the scenic campsite and had no bear trouble or sightings, so there you go. My congrats to this bear for being a nice normal bear with discerning taste in scenery.

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Naturally, today was a good wildlife day. I saw a hummingbird, a tiny unidentified rodent, and a cute chipmunk that waved its tail. The views were beautiful all morning.

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I’m camping at Porcupine Lake, which is pretty and has a nice camping area. A few other hikers are here but we’re all doing our own thing, solo hiker x3 style.

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Porcupine Lake

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