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Jack and Barb
Begins: Apr 17, 2011
Date: Fri, Sep 9th, 2011
Start: mile 2258 (Lava Spring)
End: mile 2283
Daily Distance: 25
Trip Distance: 2,237.7
Entry Visits: 1,108
Journal Visits: 387,749
Guestbook Views: 167,248
Guestbook Entrys: 482
The Bow Hunters
I ran across some bow hunters today as I circumnavigated Mt. Adams. Seems that the season on elk opened 3 days ago, but only for bow hunters. Since hunting with a bow and arrow is so much more difficult, the bow hunters get it all to themselves for a month before they let the bullet guys come in.
First, I have to say that I encountered three groups of two each and these guys were super friendly. I spent a lot of time chatting with them today.
I forgot to add yesterday that John, the trail angel from Trout Lake is a bow hunter. He was out the night before opening day, camped with a herd of elk. He "talked" to them (with his elk horn) and they talked back. Next morning, on opening day, he bagged a five point and had to call some friends to help him cart out the 80 pounds of elk meat.
You get one tag per year (that means you can only bag one animal). In Southern Washington, the likelihood that you will get an elk with a bow and arrow is on average, one elk every 12 years. So, getting an elk with a bow and arrow is a big deal - it is not a slam dunk. These elk are fast on their feet.
The range for bow hunters is about 50-70 yards and it is not uncommon to have a shot and miss or worse, injure the animal then you have to track it for miles.
Harold and Carl were two of the hunters I came across. Harold is a real outdoors-man and has been bow hunting for 18 years - He is well above the average of one every 12 years. Carl has 10 years of experience and was out hunting for number 2. (guys, correct me if I'm wrong). Side story, Harold's wife, also a proficient bow hunter, got a 3 by 2 on opening day (that's 3 points on one side and two on the other - not sure how that differs from a 5 point). So, they will have elk meat for the season. Let's see, 80 lbs of meat. If you make burgers at 1/4 lb each that would be 320 elk burgers, enough to feed 10 hungry thru-hikers! Making me hungry and it's not even lunch time.
The trail today takes me into the Goat Rocks Wilderness, passing by Goat Rocks and over Cispus Pass (6,473'). The scenery was gorgeous - a nice change from forests.
It was a day for chatting. After the hunters came the backpackers. One group was three guys: John, Danny and Ritchie. John knew about PCT thru-hikers and asked me what my trail name was. "Tequila Jack" I said (I has morphed to this since Big Lake where Lost and Found renamed me by mistake). "So you carry Tequila" he said. "So do I. I have some excellent Cazadores with me." We talked tequila for a bit then he offered me a lime.
"How about a lime to go with that tequila Jack?" (you can put a comma after "that" or after "tequila", your choice). The guy is carrying fresh limes - Que Bueno! "Of course" I said. I only needed one but he pressed two on me. I would be sipping tequila and sucking on a lime in the tent tonight.
Later in the day, about 7 pm, I passed a beautiful waterfall that gushed right over the trail. Then I passed through some rocky areas that had perfectly manicured trail. Now, this is the PCT I signed up for. Check out the picture above. Look at all the work done to make this so perfect.
It was a day of variety. Forests, open plains, mountains, ridges, fields of flowers and awesome weather. I could see Mt. Ranier off to the North. In a day or two, I would be passing by.
Jack And Barb Take On The PCT
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