15th July Saturday
Easy start this morning, packed my gear up and walked 30 metres where my food bag was hanging with my ready made breakfast of cold oatmeal soaked overnight.
First half an hour of the day was tracking through swamp so my dry boots and socks were soon waterlogged.
15 miles to the first major river crossing and along the way I made sure I made a lot of noise so i wouldn’t surprise any grizzly bears.
View as I left my camp site this morning
Come one o’clock I made it to the first river crossing, the one I saw on Facebook. Looked all right to me, I could see the rocks under the water, entrance and exit point were straight forward so i prepared myself and my bag and with my mobile phone switched off and safe in my bag, I started to cross.
The river was very wide and i didn’t even make it a couple of metres until I soon realised that this river wasn’t for me to cross. I went up to my waist, my walking sticks that gave me extra support were wobbling or vibrating from the force of the water. I retreated quickly.
Well the bloke on Facebook wad definitely correct about unable to cross and I’m not going to swim it with all of my gear like he did. Plan B is to walk down stream 5 miles to the Packbridge, now I see why the Facebook bloke crossed there as I couldn’t go any further due to another river that runs into this major one, it too was very strong and even if I did cross it, I could see there was solid bush I’d have to make my way through.
Now what? Well I could have lunch and relax for a while and so I did and after that I knew I had no other options but to return to the same path that got me here and backtrack.
It’s going to be a long day, 15 miles each way which equal to about 14 hours on the trail to return to somewhere I was earlier this morning. Rolling thunder and rain came this afternoon, changing from light rain to sun, so wearing a jacket got tiring after a while with stopping to remove and then only 10 minutes later to put it back on, so eventually I just kept it off and i soon dried.
Walking back with the views in reverse
While daydreaming as I walked along the trail, I was suddenly attacked by a bird of a size of a chicken. It flew at my face which I quickly blocked with my walking poles and then the strange thing was it circled me making a lot of unhappy noise. I can only assume that it had a nest adjacent to the trail and I got to close.
A couple of horse riders passed me on the trail with their dog in front and their only question was, “have you seen any bears”, it’s a big issue with these Grizzly bears with their population being so high as I get closer to Yellowstone.
Finally made it to the highway, there was a paid campsite there but I camped across the highway from it to avoid paying the ridiculous prices for little in return.
Reflecting on today’s events, and I was thinking, should I have heeded the bloke on Facebook advice and find another alternative and not walk to the river and check it out for myself. I’m happy with my decision to spend the day to only return and better still, the decision not to cross .