21th June Wednesday
Passed through Fraser which was a bigger place than I expected. Looking on the map it looked like the size of Twin Lakes which had nothing except for a couple of shops which one was a trading post that doubled as a service station. Firefield said he was going to stop at a garage for coffee but as there were many garages and the fact he needed to do shopping, it was unlikely I’ll see him today.
Lunch in Grand Lake
Last service station heading out of town had a strong WiFi signal, I didn’t feel like coffee but the password, lucky for me, was the same as the router name. Too easy I thought.
So I sat outside talking with Eunhwa for 45 minutes and then I thought I’d better start the 38 mile walk to Grand Lake along the main road.
I did 10 miles and then a property manager stopped and offered me a lift, so by 11 in the morning I was sitting in a bakery eating pastry and sipping on coffee where the shop allows one refill for free.
After sorting out my package at the post office, which I just forwarded to the next town four days away, I found a bar and ordered myself a hamburger, chips and an extra large glass of water and ice at a cost of 8.74 which was 10 dollars with the tip I paid.
Just an hour into my walk I came across a local who had the same backpack as I have. He was just doing a section of the trail but we got talking as on his shoulder straps on his backpack he had a large pepper spray, designed for bears. He then started to tell me all the animal hazards such a black bears and moose. The bears around here are more frightened of people and you would be lucky to even see one, but on the other hand it’s the Moose he said you have to look out for. I’ve heard the same story from other hikers, if a moose is on the path, give way and in no way do anything to aggravate it.
The path coming up to where the moose are
Just as I was leaving, he pointed to a tree behind me with scratch marks, maybe just like a scratching post for a domestic cat.
So for the next hour on the trail, my nerves were on edge and any sound from the bush made me jump.
I heard yelling, I stopped and froze, looking through the bushes I could see a moose, I slowly walked forward and my view of the land opened up, ahead of me was an open field, to my left is where my path was, a stream just to the right and ahead were group of moose. I just watched as they ate on the far side of the stream and it was then I heard the noise. On the outside of the trail, past the moose, were a group of, looked like 15 students that wanted to come my way.
With pots and pans and yelling, their goal was to move the moose away from the trail, this is not what I’ve been told to do when confronted with Moose.
I stood there for about an hour and in total there were four of us wanted to get by.
I counted seven of them and I’m sure I sore a small baby which makes things worse.
Worse still, they crossed the stream to be closer to the trail and seem to settle in for, what my concern was, for the night.
Nice easy path for a change
The other group ahead of us started up again, singing and banging on their pots. The moose ignored them and when we thought they were settled in and laying on the grass, we four, slowly moved ahead to pass by them, we all were very nervous, stopped when one of the moose looked up. Finally we made it through to the junction where we went right angles away from the group of seven moose and it was then the other group started up again, singing and banging their pots and as I looked back, where I could only see the moose and not the group.
The moose started to run towards the singer’s and everything went quiet from them. I have no idea what happened, I couldn’t see and I wasn’t keen to walk back either, other hikers said that when you have an encounter with moose, first, don’t piss them off and then stand behind a tree. The other group were in the open field.
I was jumpy for the rest of the afternoon and even during the night while I was in the tent, I could hear every animal sound and come just passed midnight, I definitely heard an animal sound, maybe a deer so to scare it off, within the tent I shook it and let out a Arrrrr. Then all went quiet.