Tuesday, August 26, 2008

8 Mile lake

This last trip was for 4 days at 8 Mile lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. This trip was a little different because in addition to the normal crew, we had 3 other people go with. Amelia, another intern in the forest service, Carly, a wilderness ranger, and Carlys boyfriend Jon tagged along. We went out on this trip to do some plant control on Canada Thistle, a rather nasty weed. This wasnt like our usual weeding trip. Normally when we are out weeding, we are in an area where you can just sit and pick the weeds out in the open, usually in a field. This particular weed, while still abundant, is really hard to find. It likes to spread out and hide in very thick underbrush, so finding it requires alot of bushwhacking. This made it more difficult, but more fun because it meant i got to go climbing around through the brush and jumping from fallen tree to fallen tree (i took 2 really good falls, but didnt get hurt thankfully). Saturday morning was the first day of weeding, and i was working around this rather thick patch of brush when something started to growl at me, which of course no one else heard and therefore didnt believe. Well, i couldnt see what it was, so i just kept on working. A few minutes later i came around the corner to find a nice fresh pile of bear crap, so i think i was very very close to pissing off a bear. Im glad it didnt decide to eat me.
This is the meadow we started picking weeds in, and ended up crashing around in the brush around it.

Sunday we went on a hike up to the Caroline lakes and then up to Windy pass (appropriately named, it was windy as hell). This was a 10 mile round trip hike, and it was definitely not easy. Halfway down from the pass the rain started, and didnt really stop until early monday morning, so we had a rather wet evening.
View from Windy pass
Monday was the hike out and a little more weeding. We were all working under this ridge when my crew leader suddenly calls us all over and tells us to hurry. I get over there to see a little black bear climbing around on the ridge! This was the first bear ive seen out here so i was very excited. We watched the bear climb around for a while (he was probably about 100 ft away from us), and he didnt really seem to be very interested in what we were doing, which is a good thing. Of course i didnt have my camera with me, it was in my pack down the trail and i didnt feel like wasting time going to get it, knowing if i did the bear would be gone by the time i got back.
Im off work now until friday,but then i have to work for 10 days in a row to finish up my internship! We are taking a 3 day trip, followed immediately by a 6 day trip. Monday the 8th will be my last day of work out here, mostly to turn in gear, say goodbye to everyone, that kind of stuff. My dad is flying out on the 12th to do some hiking and drive back with me. We are hoping to stop at a few places along the way too, to do some hiking and camping.


lalittlecricket said...

Wow, a close encounter with a bear, huh? That's crazy! Glad things are still going well.


Anonymous said...

I bet you did piss off the bear. If you look around that pile of warm bear poop, you probably would have found a wet patch too. Glad you survived the falls.
- Notch Cut