I decided on Skiumah Lake, a trail I'd always vetoed for hiking alone because it seemed so "beary": brushy, narrow, and in a known grizzly area. But I had bear spray and a hiking companion, and it was supposed to be near 60 degrees. How bad could it be?
We hiked up the trail, intermittently yelling "hey bear," covering three and a half miles rapidly, only slowed down a few trees across the trail. But we were complacent, because up ahead it lurked, where the trail was obliterated by snow and the fateful words were uttered "the lake must be right over there"...The Bushwhack.
I have no pictures of this brushy nightmare, because I was focused on the bruises I was acquiring from falling through the soft snow onto hidden stumps and logs, and the fact that every step of the way I expected a bear to pop up next to us. However, the slightly hysterical laughing at how ridiculous we must look probably chased any self respecting bear into the next county.
Finally we made it to the lake. It was worth it.
|Looks pretty innocent from here.|
Still, there's something about an arduous or unexpected adventure. It makes the day even more memorable.