Sunday, November 8, 2009
On our hike today we decided to crash through the woods and follow the bear trails. Usually, by this time the bears are dormant, so the chances of us running into one is slim. We went way past where we normally do and found plenty of signs of bears; scat, footprints, splinttered logs and we found this (see picture). This tree obviouslly had some good insects in it the bear stripped the whole bottom of the tree down to where it was about to fall. This was no small tree either. I could probably just get my arms around the trunk and it was at least 75 feet tall. One kick and I think that thing would have crashed down. I did not do it, I would have had to tie up the dogs somewhere and you never know where a tree would fall. There were clear signs everywhere that this is bear territory. After about 1/4 mile (past some trees cut and wrapped in plastic) there were no longer any signs of "people trails". We followed a narrow gulley that goes all the way to the top of the Ramparts. I estimate we were about 1/2 up the gully. However, it started getting steeper and thicker--not impassible, but I do think we could easily find our way to the top and to the trail between Eagle Peak and Green Mountain. Someday we will do that. We will have to go light because of the brush we would have to crash through, and definately pick a time when the bears are asleep. A good winter timer crashing hike. I think 2 hours to the top would be sufficient.