Think about this on Throwback Thursday… Mixing it up a little bit this week!
I have been nostalgic for our hiking trips of the past few years, so I thought it would be fun to share a story about a training hike we did where we encountered and were charged by a mama bear with her cub. And when we passed the intersection of that trail 2 years ago when we closed that section of the Pacific Crest Trail, I had uneasy nerves! haha
The short version of the story is that we were within 2 miles of our truck and we had come down into a meadow, Jason stepped on a twig and broke it, which actually probably saved us. The sound of it breaking alerted the bear to our presence – so we didn’t happen upon her (yikes!). She sent her cub up the tree, and took off in a dead run toward us closing a 25-yard span in seconds breaking downed trees that were probably the size of my arm like it was nothing. (side note that’s important to mention: I thought she was a mountain lion because of her fur color and I had mountain lion on the brain since I saw the warning sign “You’re in mountain lion country” at the trailhead)
Jason told me to start backing up the trail and he yelled really loudly, HEY! And while she didn’t stop running, she stopped running toward us and broke back toward her cub.
We were back at the top of the small ravine we had climbed down on the trail and decided we’d take a different trail back. We took a few minutes to review and assess what had just happened… then kinda freaked out. haha We were totally calm through the entire experience, thankfully.
A nice person from Reno was also doing a training hike and offered to wait for us in the parking lot and drive us the 5-or-more miles back to our truck. And they did.
Our first backpacking trip was within a few weeks of this experience and to say we were rattled (ok, mostly me) would be an understatement. So much so, that I had our metal coffee mugs hooked with a carabiner on the outside of my pack to make noise to ensure the bears knew we were there. A habit that only lasted 2 of the 3 days of this trip. haha
Last year, we hiked the section of the Pacific Crest Trail we hiked down 5 years earlier and as we passed the trail marker for “Noble Canyon,” I had to get a photo of Jason to commemorate the growth and lessons we had learned since that trek and meeting that bear.
The 2 photos on the left were from that first backpacking trip in 2015… I see an uneasy, uncomfortable woman in myself in those photos. And that’s ok – it’s part of my journey and my experience – for which, even though we got charged by a bear, I wouldn’t change any of it!
The 2 photos on the right are from the trip in 2020 – the one on the top right is of Jason at that trail junction to Noble Canyon… he’s cracking up about something, I cannot remember what – probably the bear. And the bottom right is me in our tent the first night – about 2 miles from the Noble Canyon trail junction. I see a lot more confidence, ease, and general joy in myself. Again, all part of my journey and experience, and I wouldn’t change any of it!
What a difference 5 years makes!