Backpacking Light Magazine (Print) PDF Reprint - Bear Encounters


Backpacking Light Magazine (Print) PDF Reprint - Bear Encounters

PDF reprint of essays on real people's real experiences up close and personal with (mostly) real bears.

Description

Originally Published In: Issue 8, Fall 2007

PDF reprint of essays on real people's real experiences up close and personal with (mostly) real bears from Backpacking Light Magazine (Print Version).

  • Title: Bear Encounters
  • Authors: Miles Barger, Mike Barney, Ryan Jordan, Chris Kannen, Erin McKittrick, Rob Rathmann, Jim Yancey
  • Word Count: 4,094
  • Images: 4 Photos

Abstract

After a long week of making beds at my not-so-glamorous summer job in Yellowstone National Park, I grabbed my (ultralight) pack, ready to hit the trail.  My path of choice was the Mount Holmes trail, halfway between Mammoth Hot Springs and Norris Geyser Basin.  After driving to the trailhead, I hiked 5.5 miles along Winter Creek and arrived at my campsite, the beautiful “1C5.” Tomorrow’s plan was to hike five miles to the summit of Mt. Holmes, hike back, camp another night, and enjoy a leisurely hike out.  However, things didn’t go quite as I’d hoped . . .

After hiking a few uphill miles in the morning, I came to a mesmerizing stretch of trail.  Straight ahead, right below the tree line on a shelf of the mountain, was a green meadow dotted with small pools. I wasn’t the only one who found the sheltered meadow, with its cool air and abundant water, a lovely place to spend my afternoon.  Approximately 30 cow elk, each with her recently born calf, were spread throughout the landscape.  Slowly, the calves started calling to their mothers with miniature versions of the bone-chilling call for which rutting bull elk are so famous, and by the time I was within a few hundred yards of the group, every single elk was staring straight at me.

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