Backpacking in Hetch Hetchy with Gabe
August 15, 2008
It's a beautiful morning on Laurel Lake on the second day of our backpacking trip to Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite. There's no one else around except the yellow jackets buzzing around the tent. I'm definitely sore from yesterday's effort, but I feel a whole lot better after the rest. It certainly would have been even better if I actually fell asleep.
After a great breakfast, Gabe spots a black bear walking along the edge of our campsite. I throw the last bits of food back into the bear canister, then throw Gabe and the packs in the tent and give the bear some room. My "Hey Bear" calls keep him from being surprised, but clearly he's done this thing before. Sneaky bear thought he would surprise us during breakfast and get a nice meal. I can tell he's seen a bear can before as he just gives it a lick and then walks on. His next step is to approach me and the tent, likely to try his next strategy of going through our packs. I stand my ground and he finally backs off and continues around the lake.
Unfortunately the bear incident is traumatic enough for Gabe that he lets me know it's time to head home. We were planning on heading out to Lake Vernon today, then spend the next two days heading back through Tiltill Valley. I can't really argue with the guy, it was his first taste of real fear. There's no control of situations out in the wild. Let's chalk this up as a learning experience. It's a long way back down in the heat, but at least it's all downhill from here.