Saturday, June 16, 2018 – 13.60 miles
I got a late-ish start because of the death trail. While retrieving my Ursack, I met a hiker who was surprised that I was hanging my food and told me he sleeps with his. When I asked whether he’s had any trouble with bears, he said that he’s seen four, three of which were easily scared off (what about the fourth…?). PCT hikers commonly store food in their tents, but my feelings about that are ambivalent. I read an AT journal that described a bear ripping into tents whether they had food in them or not, and I think that as traffic on the PCT and human/bear encounters increase, taking a proactive approach to prevent bears associating campsites with food is better than relying on them to be afraid when they appear. The guy went on to describe bears as ‘like raccoons’ and at that point I was throwing up a little in my mouth and wanting to ship him up to Churchill. It’s a nice place, just bring your shotgun.
The trail passed through Marble Valley today. Marble Mountain is distinctive with its pale hue and boxy shape.
The valley has an old ranger cabin with plenty of space around to camp, but the Bigfoot Trail couple warned me that it’s also home to bold garbage deer (deer that steal your stuff). One advantage that Guthook has over eTrails is its user comments on campsites, which would be useful in regards to animal activity and the recent burn areas. I saw a cave (Bigfoot’s home?) and more snow, but most could be navigated around.
I camped on Cayenne Ridge near an old stone bench built by the Forest Service. eTrails isn’t high on this campsite compared to upcoming Paradise Lake, but I think it’s pleasantly located with a good view and nearby pond filled with frogs.