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Alone on the Sespe, 10/14-15/2011
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Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Alone on the Sespe, 10/14-15/2011 on 10/16/2011 11:51:56 MDT Print View

Nothing fancy, but the report and some pics are here:

Not much for the gearheads out there, as I've come to disdain too much gear talk in reports, especially if the gear is not particularly pertinent to the trip...I could've done this trip with anything.

I will say though, I'm loving my Exped Synmat UL7. Though not really needed, I also took my Hubba on this trip; there's something I really like about this little tent. It was a super comfortable night. Even with this "heavy" tent and pad, two items I would've considered WAY too frivolous once upon a time, my pack was still well under 10 lbs.

Edited by xnomanx on 10/16/2011 13:58:43 MDT.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Alone on the Sespe on 10/19/2011 00:10:29 MDT Print View

Interesting encounter there at night... Reminds me of several mountain lion encounters that either I've had or heard of friends having up around White Ledge in the San Rafael wilderness. To me, it almost sounded like a baby or young child crying... in the middle of the night... in the middle of nowhere. It gave me chicken skin and made all the hair on the back of my neck stand straight up. Very spooky noises. Too close to human sounding for comfort; it really messes with your sense of security.

Otherwise, sounds like a great, quick trip to clear the mind and get a little peace and quiet. I love the warm fall light on the hills in your photos and I'm glad to see that much water still standing in the pools. I'm guessing that's the pool upstream of Bear Camp?

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
thanks for posting :) on 10/19/2011 08:10:22 MDT Print View

Your description sounds like accounts I've read on mountain lions (though I haven't been privileged to hear anything so wild in person). Nice report!

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: thanks for posting :) on 10/19/2011 08:31:58 MDT Print View

Yeah, Nicholas, it's the big pool by Bear Camp. Beautiful out there at this time, huh?. I was camped in the vicinity of Willet.

I'm guessing it was mountain lions or coyote, most likely coyote...because I don't think lions grunt and bark...but then again, I've never heard coyotes scream/moan.

Eric Drew

Locale: Sespe Wilderness
Thanks for sharing Craig on 10/20/2011 16:04:13 MDT Print View

Heading up there tomorrow for two nights around the Willet area to enjoy the hot springs, hopefully with less company than you had!

PS compliments on the beer selection, bringing up some canned IPA myself... Next time your in the area hit up the Ojai Beverage Company, best beer selection in VTA County, mmmm beer.

Edward Z
(Fuzz) - MLife

Locale: Sunny San Diego
Ditto on 10/22/2011 21:32:37 MDT Print View

Thanks for the report. Had the same experience camping by the river right before the sign for ... I think it was "ladybug camp" or something of the sort. Started as kind of a screaming, then like (sounds funny) a moaning like a high pitched male voice moaning during lovemaking.... super eerie! Just about made me jump out of my skin. I'd come out from under the tarp, clap my hands and it'd stop, only to move 60 degrees around my camp and begin again 1/2 hour later. A loong night up there by the Sespe......... Ah well. Dunno what it was but I played every mountain lion call I could find on the net and nothing sounded the same........... Kinda reminds you that you're a guest in the woods.

Glad to hear you had a great night. I'd take those two beers over a lot of people as camping companions!


Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Ditto on 10/22/2011 22:52:28 MDT Print View heard it too? Horrible, eh?

I say we load our sixguns, form a posse, and go get to the bottom of this...

Eric Drew

Locale: Sespe Wilderness
Might be a problem Cougar on 10/24/2011 11:38:36 MDT Print View

Got back yesterday and on Saturday we left our camp at Oak Flat with the intent to hang out for the day at Willet hot springs. As we crossed the creek to Willet Camp we heard what sounded like a rush of birds from a tree, we paused and decided that was what it was. I began to work through some reeds to find a better way accross the creek and was met with a VERY deep growling sound from across the creek behind the vegetation.

We hightailed it out because we had a 9 year old (who we had nicknamed cougar bait prior to the encounter) and a 13 year old with us. Otherwise the trip was great!

I've been hearing from workers at the Sespe Oil Co that the mtn lion population has grown quite a bit and the forest rangers have been aked that problem cats be reported and are then destroyed.

Informed two solo hikers about it, hope they enjoyed their trip without incident.

(tacksman99) - F

Locale: So Cal
Interesting write up on 10/24/2011 17:31:44 MDT Print View

I've been up there for sub 24 HOUR overnighter's and my Dog would get really unsettled at times in the middle of the night.
We never saw anything, but sure heard a lot.


Edward Z
(Fuzz) - MLife

Locale: Sunny San Diego
How Funny on 10/25/2011 18:27:26 MDT Print View

Yeah, I'm a cop by trade and on that trip driving through OC and town I carried my gun and obviously didnt leave it in the car at the I had it with me. It was the most unnerving in a couple dozen nights on trail. I actually skinned it and had it in my hand. Was a real weird trip. I've been 10 feet from bears stealing my poorly hung food, I've had plenty of close calls and stuff with humans in 14 years of law enforcement but that was just plain weird. Hadn't even mentioned it till I saw Craig's post....... Strength and Honor boys!!!!!!! break out the pitchforks.

David A
(DavidAdair) - M

Locale: West Dakota
I can see the headline now on 10/25/2011 19:04:41 MDT Print View

BPl members killed while reenacting scene from Young Frankenstein. Victims were known to habitually venture off trail with inadequate footwear....