Wednesday, June 23, 2010

So Many Bugs

Day 71-June 23rd
Destination: Peavine Creek
Miles: 20
Cumulative Miles: 923.5

Last night as we were falling asleep, we heard something nibbling on our gear. Psycho looked outside and saw a small bunny hopping around outside the tent. Knowing all our food and gear was safe, we went to sleep. It WAS a bunny after all.

We woke this morning, and the bunny was still hanging out. Not shy at all, he hopped up to our backpacks and tried chewing on them, while we were six inches away. It was nice to have the cute company this morning, as the rest of the day was pretty much dominated by bugs; very few of which were the beautiful butterflies we have seen so frequently lately, chasing one another effortlessly over the hill that we struggled to get up and down.

We chose to follow a road today, rather than the trail, for a few miles. It was going to be the same distance, but the road stuck mostly to the south side of the ridge, thus resulting in less snow. It didn't really work out that way, as the entire top of the hill was covered in snow. Navigating our way across the snow covered land, we worked our way up and down the ridge.

At times, we had to pull out our ice axes and use them to cut steps up the frozen over snow. Psycho moved up the hill quickly, as his boots grab the snow better. Atop the ridge, he grew crazy as bugs swarmed him while Apricots put more effort into cutting sensible stairs up the steep hillside.

Constantly wandering between the trail and a road, we made slow progress. The road should not even be considered a road, as it is wide enough for a motorcycle, and overgrown so much, that at times we had trouble seeing one another, let alone the tread.

In the first three hours of the day, we covered only three miles and swatted three million bugs. Fortunately, the entire day was not slow going. Once we were past the snow, we were only slowed by the occasional blow down and frequent over growth. The incessant humming of bugs in our ears kept us moving.

Early evening, as we walked through a clear cut (perhaps the only clear cut we'll be thankful for), Psycho spotted a bear. This time he was able to take a few pictures as it milled about oblivious to our presence. After we had taken the pictures, we made a noise to let the bear know we were around. He stared directly at us, and we both thought for a moment "uh oh, this one's not skittish." We made more noise, and he stared at us. Fortunately, as soon as Apricots started walking forward, the bear shot off down the hill, fast and far.

We pulled in to camp around eight, beat and ready to eat. Just before setting up the tent, Psycho saw another bear looking down the road at him. As soon as Psycho moved to get a picture, the bear disappeared. We set up the tent, and prepared a dinner, where we dined while mosquitoes dined on our exposed skin. Barely able to enjoy a dessert, we quickly brushed our teeth and dove into the bug free comfort of our tent.

Tomorrow we head to Burney Falls State Park, 14 miles downhill from here. Ideally, no snow and no bugs.
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  1. You guys look like beekeepers. Snow AND bugs? damn.

  2. Agree with Rox...bugs and snow...that is a most interesting combination...Butterflies, bears, bugs, bunny, Apricots and Psycho...that's enough for a adventure.

    Take care do look like beekeepers....Apricots looks a little less serious than Psycho....

    Journey on with blessings of safety....xo