Friday, July 25, 2008

PCT Cottonwood Pass to Kennedy Meadows - highlight: a wolverine spotting


We finished the California part of the Pacific Crest Trail with this trip. Nice hike, though the altitude starting at the high end gave me a reaction somewhat like mild hyperthermia - headache the 1st day and sluggish and slow thinking the second.

At a PopTart break, I was so beat, I grabbed a 2 minute nap in the trail:

The section south from the northernmost crossing of the Kern River could use some trail maintenance. I really hate having to crawl under a tree with my pack on, but it is not quite as bad as pushing or pulling it thru.

One of the highlights of the trip was seeing a wolverine in the upper part of Cow Creek. Susan spotted it first, and asked if it was a bear cub. With that long bushy dark tail, it did not compute. We watched it run straight up the slope from the creek, about 60 feet away. Dark brown and golden brown with a fringe of sunlit hair on the sides. We weren't fast enough to get the cameras out, so another undocumented sighting.

We tried the SticPic a few times, so you can see the two of us:

The last day of this trip sent us thru the Clover Fire area, which has now been opened to hikers. It was a fairly sobering experience to see the devastation. Earlier on the trip, the trail was overgrown, and the brush was giving our shins a beating. Not a problem in the fire area. One thing I had never seen before - the granite boulders literally blew flakes of granite off during the fire, some large flakes went as far as four feet away, leaving a checkerboard appearance on the original boulder, and flakes scattered around. It must have been really noisy when those flakes were blowing off.

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