Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » What is the strangest thing you ever saw in the backcountry?


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Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
What is the strangest thing you ever saw in the backcountry? on 01/05/2012 00:20:09 MST Print View

Last week I was sitting in a wash taking a lunch break in a fairly remote area. I hear someone walking and look up. This guy, my age, but more hippie looking is walking along at a fairly quick pace towards me.

He was wearing water shoes and carrying a day pack. That is it. Just shoes. He said "Hi," and kept going. I was tempted to take a picture of him from the back, but not sure how I would explain it to my wife. I suppose if it was a young lady I would have taken a picture :)

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: What is the strangest thing you ever saw in the backcountry? on 01/05/2012 00:24:07 MST Print View

Some people really take their skin out weight seriously.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: What is the strangest thing you ever saw in the backcountry? on 01/05/2012 00:34:01 MST Print View

No roads, no clearings, and trees everywhere.

sfgh

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: What is the strangest thing you ever saw in the backcountry? on 01/05/2012 00:43:53 MST Print View

I was leading a group trip in Yosemite, and I had stopped at a stream crossing to make sure that everybody got across OK. A group of four little old ladies was going the other way on the trail. They looked at the stream crossing and didn't like it, so they started to work their way up along one stream bank, looking for another spot. I knew there were no better spots unless you wanted to get wet. The four little old ladies got to a point about 50 yards away, and then they stripped all the way down and crossed the cold stream, yelling and screaming and splashing as they went. I just happened to look right then, saw what I saw for a second, and then forced myself to look the other way. It wasn't a pretty sight.

I just wonder if I will be that way when I get to be that old.

--B.G.--

Karl Myers
(kmyers1234) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
RE: What is the strangest thing you ever saw in the backcountry? on 01/05/2012 01:07:17 MST Print View

My experience is on the same lines as Nicks:
Last summer I was hiking in North Cascades NP and I had a guy pass me on the trail wearing homemade (or so tattered they looked home stiched) moccasins, a tarzan-like canvas cloth over his package and was hauling minimum 60 pounds in a vintage kelty external frame pack.

I stopped and talked with him for a minute or so before asking the burning question of, "why the tarzan look?" his simple answer was "why not?" and he was off. Talk about a guy with a unique outlook on life

you get the idea

Christopher Yi
(TRAUMAhead)

Locale: Cen Cal
Re: What is the strangest thing you ever saw in the backcountry? on 01/05/2012 02:30:16 MST Print View

Technically it's in the backcountry, Panamint City smokestack.

PC
PC 2

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: What is the strangest thing you ever saw in the backcountry? on 01/05/2012 02:40:42 MST Print View

Christopher, in the second photo, is that Telescope Peak on the left in the background?

The stack was left from the mining/smelting operations from 100 years ago.

--B.G.--

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: What is the strangest thing you ever saw in the backcountry? on 01/05/2012 03:05:38 MST Print View

Canvas painting of a tree frog? Maybe not that weird, just weird that it was out there.a

Duane Hall
(PKH) - M

Locale: Nova Scotia
Re: What is the strangest thing you ever saw in the backcountry? on 01/05/2012 03:41:00 MST Print View

Just this summer in Fundy National Park: after causing an unbelievable commotion in a dense, trail side alder thicket (think bear), a heavily tattooed young man crawled on to the trail on his hands and knees in front of us. There was a small, bright green parrot hanging on for dear life to his extended index finger. My hiking partner sweetly enquired, "Did you lose your budgie?"

"No", he replied, "I lost the trail."

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: What is the strangest thing you ever saw in the backcountry? on 01/05/2012 04:34:13 MST Print View

? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ;-)

Weather data station ?

Party On,

Newton

Chad Miller
(chadnsc)

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Re: What is the strangest thing you ever saw in the backcountry? on 01/05/2012 07:36:17 MST Print View

Hmmmm . . . .


Pack of timber wolves (really odd cuz it was the basketball team)

Guy in military cammo with an AR-15 (wasn't hunting season)

A couple performing CPR (with all their cloths off)

A deer carcass stripped down to the bone from the neck down (basketball team did it)

A guy in a pink speedo (a few miles away from the nearest river to swim in)

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: What is the strangest thing you ever saw in the backcountry? on 01/05/2012 07:56:52 MST Print View

Coming down from the mountains just south of Mt. Fuji it was getting late and twilight had begun, so the forest was dim and gloomy. Ahead I saw a strange glowing white shimmer on the forest floor, spread out across the entire visual range of the woods. Coming closer I realized that it was thousands upon thousands of pages from pornographic magazines carefully laid out on the forest floor as far as I could see. That will probably be the strangest sight I will ever see.

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
What is the strangest thing you ever saw in the backcountry? on 01/05/2012 08:33:55 MST Print View

I did not see the following but remember reading the storey and enjoying it immensely;

A group of mountain bikers set out to climb a steep and challenging ascent to a summit fire lookout. All had high end race worthy mountain bikes and the latest and greatest gear; ti or carbon frames, shocks, disk brakes ... Each was wearing high tech helmets, cycling footwear, race jerseys, hydration packs - the works.

Upon reaching the difficult summit they grouped together to enjoy the accomplishment, the view and the companionship. Looking down at the miles of switchbacks below they see a lone rider making his way up the same climb, never walking but just grinding his way upward. As the rider nears the top of the climb he is out of site until coming around a final bend onto the exposed and windy summit.

The lone rider is on a pink girls single speed bike adorned with a riser bar, grip tassels, spoke beads and a flowered basket. He is wearing jeans, sneakers and a grin from ear to ear. The lone rider looks at the group of mountain bikers, offers a simple greeting and turns to bomb his way back down.

Edited by thomdarrah on 01/05/2012 10:44:19 MST.

a b
(Ice-axe)
Mother Nature Incarnate on 01/05/2012 08:40:35 MST Print View

Indy and I had just entered a little thicket of woods a few miles shy of Etna summit.
Thats when we saw her..
A beautiful woman with dreadlocked hair wearing a goat skin skirt, home made shirt, breastfeeding a baby, surrounded by 19 goats each with little backpacks on.
My first words to Indy were: "We have come so far.. it's Mother Nature!"
.People of the Goat.
.Goat Packers.
.
Turns out the couple were spending the summer hiking north from their commune with their 19 goats, two Aussie shepards, and 10 month old baby.
They would make between 6 and 10 miles a day with the goats carrying everything the needed along the way.
They milked the goats for their own needs and sold the surplus at trailheads to buy supplementary food along the way.
Mother Nature would forage for wild edibles along the way as well and Indy and i were impressed when she named off a dozen edible plants right there in the surrounding woods.
Turns out they had started with 20 goats but had slaughtered one of them for meat for themselves and their dogs.
As Mr. Nature saddle up the goats I asked him why only 18 of the remaining 19 goats had packs on.. he said that 19th goat always likes to jump into the lakes and swim so it could not wear a pack.
They also said THAT goat would be next for the chopping block!
To this day that was the happiest little trail family I have ever met.

Edited by Ice-axe on 01/05/2012 08:44:20 MST.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: What is the strangest thing you ever saw in the backcountry? on 01/05/2012 09:42:02 MST Print View

Ken Thompson, I believe.....

Aaron Armstrong
(traderaaron) - F

Locale: Colorado
pink panties on 01/05/2012 10:40:59 MST Print View

Pink and polka dot panties hanging on a tree limb right on the trail, evidence of a party thrown recently nearby too and I was assuming these were part of that same evidence.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Mother Nature Incarnate on 01/05/2012 10:47:04 MST Print View

Matthew: Great post!

>"Turns out they had started with 20 goats but had slaughtered one of them for meat for themselves and their dogs."

It could be argued that Amundsen succeeded at getting to the South Pole while Scott died because:

Shetland ponies can only eat the hay and oats you brought for them.

Dogs can eat dog meat.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: What is the strangest thing you ever saw in the backcountry? on 01/05/2012 10:53:52 MST Print View

>"saw what I saw for a second, and then forced myself to look the other way. It wasn't a pretty sight.

I just wonder if I will be that way when I get to be that old."

Bob: with time, all body parts get bigger, hairier, and closer to the ground. Happens to all of us.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: What is the strangest thing you ever saw in the backcountry? on 01/05/2012 11:03:41 MST Print View

A guy carrying a huge backpack (110L)with a 12kg bag of raw potatoes attached to the outside. We were easily 25KM from the nearest road.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: What is the strangest thing you ever saw in the backcountry? on 01/05/2012 11:08:38 MST Print View

Point Reyes National Seashore. Wildcat Camp. 6 miles from the trailhead. October 1993.

(1) a guy, in a tuxedo, with a backpack, on a unicycle, going over the trail / fire road.

(2) an 8-inch reflecting telescope set up at night for star viewing.

(3) a basketball and regulation basket (backboard, 18" hoop 10 feet up, net). Carried in.

(4) FOUR half-gallons of ice cream, plus fudge, carmel, whip cream, nuts, cherries.

(5) a hot tub consisting of 10-mil poly sheeting in a sand dune, 100 feet of garden hose to tap a stream by siphon, and an automotive radiator as a HX over 6 MSR stoves. Later filled with naked college student when it got to 104F/40C.

(6) a med student making chocolate fondue.

Follow-up:

(1) I later catered his wedding (smoked salmon on crackers, champagne, and a 3-tier hazelnut-chocolate torte) on top of Half Dome.

(2) Mike Brown later became "the man who killed Pluto" when he discovered Eris (2003 UB 313, a.k.a. "Xenia")

(3) but only one for a half-court game.

(4) is was too much ice cream for 20 people but the adjacent Boy Scout troop appreciated it (and the naked co-eds in the hot tub).

(5) this is why you should not let chemical engineers go backpacking.

(6) I married her.

Edited by DavidinKenai on 01/05/2012 11:09:50 MST.