18th August  Friday
27 miles
Blowing this morning at 6 o’clock, sun isn’t visible yet but Czech Mix and myself started the morning with a steep climb.  Smoke was thick from the surrounding fires which didn’t make my photos turn out the best.

We reached the top of the mountain  and was surprised to meet, I think, a father and son doing the CDT together.   Late start for them this morning , they said they got going at 8 o’clock.

We are definitely getting into Grizzly territory which we knew for a while, the father and son said they had a close encounter with a mother and two cubs, the worse situation you can be in.  Walking around a bend and they surprised them, the cubs took off but the mother was confused and did a mock charge at one of the hikers, fortunately  they didn’t have to use the bear spray. She turned and took off following her two cubs so for the next hour the son was making a lot of noise along the trail with their nerves a little on edge.

Smoke was so bad where towards the end of the day I had a headache, the smoke seems to come and go along the trail, we enter one valley  and it’s thick with smoke but the next none.

Dead forest from the Beatles

Walking along I got a fright of my life, just to the side of the trail I saw what I thought to be a bear, it was black and not moving, I froze and then realised it was a burnt out tree stump that was in a similar shape  to as a bear.

Camping at the p├áss, the highest point  with less dead trees