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Field trips 2.0

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norseman
35 minutes ago, NatFoot said:

I would've guessed that a grizzly. Thought I could see the hump and all.

 

He definitely looked like a young griz. But it was just a big black bear. Some black bear in the right posture have abit of a hump.

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Kiwakwe

Went for a jaunt into a new area of the Uintas today, up a canyon to about 7,500'. Most of it a bushwhack or following game trails. UT has had record snows/rains thus far so the mountains are lush, the deserts are blooming and the streams and rivers are still flowing strongly. Nothing anomalous but did see 3 Mule deer and a bull moose with a plush velvet rack that passed about 25' from me and didn't notice, though we were in a dense thicket of gambel oak, canyon maple  and a few giant unidentified spruce. I was tucked beneath one of the latter waiting out a passing shower when he went by.  Looks to be good habitat.

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Explorer

^^ On Utah, I have read that the area around the headwaters of the Weber River is a BF hot spot. 

I always wanted to visit the lakes above the area and then head down into Weber canyon, but had not had the time. 

Have you ever visited that area?

 

I did have an encounter with an unknown creature by Butterfly Lake campground over 10 years ago (an area close to that Weber drainage).

Can't call it BF, but whatever it was, it was making loud guttural sounds (that woke me up) and throwing little sticks, pebbles or nuts at my tent in the middle of the night (so many that I thought it was light rain).

The creature woke up a dog that was with other campers down below us (~60-80 ft away) but my friend camping in a tent next to me slept thru it (despite the guttural sounds, dog barking, and me yelling to wake up).

I never got the courage to get out of my tent.  In retrospect, I don't know why I just did not check what was making those sounds and throwing little pebbles/sticks at my tent.

Instead, I went back to bed and ignored it.

I have friends who had an encounter in one of the southern canyons into the High Uintas and on the eastern edge of the range by Flaming Gorge. So the place has presence.

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Kiwakwe

I have not been to Weber canyon other than to pass through on the highway. I was reading in Saswasatch of earlier reports in that area and also Ogden. Hard to imagine the BF choosing that region today over the relative solitude of the Uintas just to the W. Everything up there looks to be suitable habitat. I'm not surprised at all about your experience at Butterfly. (I had a similar visitor to my camp in the North Maine Woods that I highly regret not investigating.)  I'll be spending some time in the High Uintas  as temperatures rise at lower elevations. The cool weekend ahead will be spent up in the Book Cliffs, they see much less hairless bi-ped traffic and are home to muleys, cougar, black bear, bison, wild horses, elk, antelope, bighorn sheep, golden eagles and probably sasquatch!

 

https://sasqwasatch.blogspot.com/2013/09/book-length-compilation-sasq-wasatch.html

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MIB

I went for a walk Saturday.   10+ miles, 3 on trail, 7 out through the woods over logs under logs through brush etc.   Got lost-ish for a while.   Trail vanished under drifts up to 6 feet deep.   Bit sunburned.  Bug-chewed.   Some minor issues with leg cramps.  NO BLISTERS!!   My best picture from the trip:

 

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Little bit of zoom on that.  It's about 5-6 mils to the snowy ridgeline.

 

MIB

Edited by MIB
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BC witness

Nah, you weren't "lost-ish", you were simply "exploring new territory", as Daniel Boone was reported to have said.

 

Some of my research buddies and I are planning a campout this coming weekend, since it's the Canada Day holiday on Monday. We're going to the same valley I had my sighting and trackway finds 40 years ago, and where the last trip, a few weeks ago, involved an up close cougar encounter. We will be suitably equipped, of course.

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SWWASAS

MIB:    Looks like heavy timber.  You must have had quite a workout off trail in that area.  

 

  I always know where I am but a few times did not know where everything else was.    The worst time that happened I was on cross country skis in a snow storm that covered the trail.    Did a little dead reckoning with a compass and luckily found my truck.    Had I come out more than 500 feet away I would have missed it because of the poor visibility.    That was in pre GPS days.   

 

Two nights ago in the middle of the night,   I got a charley horse in my calf so bad I could barely walk.  It really hurt and nearly tore the muscle because only half the calf muscle contracted.   Have no idea why but must have been a blood potassium issue.  

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MIB

It was a fun walk.    Pretty good workout.   Lifting my forward foot, then my trailing foot, clear of the logs about a bazillion times is much harder than covering the same distance on flat ground.   It's those extra lifting muscles that were screaming and occasionally cramping.    Since my blood tests come back mid-range on electrolytes, I don't think that was the issue, just lactic acid building up faster than I could process it. 

 

I have the calf cramps at night, too.   Each time I have one I find the toes pointed down and the heel drawn up.   I don't know if that is cause or effect.   If I catch them quick usually the damage is minimal.    I had one a while back that left visible bruising on the calf for several days.   I was fairly gimpy for a day or two also.    It's not in the same locations that cramp from over-use.    The only thing I've found at all effective is to remember to stretch by pulling the toes up to the body rather than pulling them down away from the body.   Hard to remember in a state of half-sleep.  

 

Anyway, there is an old trail out there.   That's part of what I'm looking for.    The area was designated wilderness in 1984.   That trail was last maintained some time before that.    I'm not sure what its purpose was.   The whole area used to be grazed in summer ... maybe it was for getting to or from where cattle were.    It could also have been an older version of the trail that runs N-S through the area.   From old maps it seems to have been rerouted a few times.   I am also looking for the main alternate to the current route.   I may have found it .. out in the woods with no other reason I can think of for being there I found a fallen tree with a rusty wire and one of the old white insulators.   If so, that's a piece of a puzzle I've been pursuing for about 4 yars found.   Gotta go back once I have more time.   Fingers crossed. 

 

MIB

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SWWASAS

If it were me I would take potassium on your situation.   With that kind of exercise and repetitive motion your blood calcium levels are probably all messed up and that causes muscle cramps.    Did you have the blood tests after your cramping?    If not they can dump on you.    If your body does not need it you will just pee it away. 

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BigTreeWalker

I've had thigh cramps when I have to walk over lots of logs when hiking and hunting. Got them last month clearing our drive of fire killed trees in eastern Washington. 

 

MIB, could that have been a telegraph line? But then that begs the question of what was out there and why. In the GPNF there are parts of old pack trails here and there. But thinning practices in the area made them indiscernible a few years back. 

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MIB

BTW -

 

I've been pondering it a bit.  I bet that was a phone insulator.    Before the Pacific Crest Trail was designated in '72 we had the Oregon Skyline Trail.   It was originally from Mt Hood to Crater Lake.  That section was finished in 1920.   The rest, connecting to the OR/WA border and OR/CA border, was finished in the 1930s if I remember right.    The PCT and OST use 70-80 % of the same route, but not all of it.   The O-S-T route was changed a few times over the decades.   There was a time when, at least for  some locations, a phone line followed the O-S-T connecting fire lookouts back to town ... all pre-dating wilderness designation of course.    I've seen those insulators a place or two on the PCT where it uses the same location as the older O-S-T.      I betcha that insulator is along an abandoned stretch of the O-S-T.   Bet if I had taken more time to look around left and right rather than plowing straight ahead (east) I might have seen more insulators, maybe old blazes on trees.   I have been trying to locate the old O-S-T in that area and map it before it is lost.   I think that insulator is the loose thread I have not previously been able to find.  A sense of excitement / accomplishment is building.   The very cool thing is I GPS-ed it.   :)

 

Cramps .. I usually get them in the hamstrings first, then in the sartorius muscle from controlling my leg as I loft them over obstacles.   Finally in the quads, usually lower end.    Though it is my calves where I get them when I'm sleeping, those seem pretty bullet proof when I'm out hiking.

 

MIB

 

 

 

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BigTreeWalker

Just curious what phone wire looked like back then. But connecting fire lookouts could be it. 

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MIB

I think it was maybe a single bare wire.   There's an old piece of wire going clear to the top of Mt McLoughlin where a lookout once sat.  I don't think it was insulated.    I think it had one hot wire and the ground really was ... the ground.   I think.  Maybe.

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norseman
norseman

Doing a DNR fuel reduction job on our ranch.

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