A SHORT HIKE IN THE COAST MOUNTAINS
With each step came the possibility of a huge rock slide but I could see that if I crossed it really gently there was a good path.The option of climbing back up the pass and going down the west side involved another steep grassy meadow and an even bigger rocks. This is one of those hiking moments when I calm myself down and carefully assess the situation.Focusing just on the next couple of steps and hand holds, watching and feeling for any sign of movement fills my concentration. On the far side I get a good look back feeling pleased and thankful.
Over five days I got way up and around the high lake enjoying every bit of the clear fall weather.Each morning at my high camp I would wake to the quiet cooing of a ruffed grouse mama leading her three chicks down to the lake and up the ridges where they would feed during the day.Flying insects will often congregate on peaks and high ridges during breeding season requiring a windy rest spot to keep out of the traffic.
After leaving the high lake I spotted the big black bear feeding in a meadow between the rock slides.There obviously was enough food for it to stay in the area so long.They can easily cover 50 miles in a day.. One night I woke up to hear it furiously digging up the rocks at a Pika nest [small mountain animal ] then it wondered off after leaving an organic souvenir .
All food must be cooked,eaten and tied up high , far from camp.Bears can be very aggressive toward food and scents but are reluctant to confront people unless they[the bear] are sick or injured.I always watch for bears and cougars particularly when I am cooking and eating.Lifting the mosquito net for each bite as I watch through the netting and listen for snapping twigs above the constant whine of mosquitoes,black flies,horse flies and no-see-ums [ but you sure feel ' ums !].
While filming the bear I carefully watches for any signs of it becoming agitated.When it turned toward me I shut off the camera and prepared to go.Later it was funny to see how the camera started shaking. All was well and I carried on out of the area.Mountain hikes bring you through distinct climate zones with their own flora and fauna.This pacific coast temperate rain forest contains incredible biodiversity and I feel gifted to able to explore it as I do.