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[pct-l] Best things you've seen while backpacking

Okay now that we've all agreed to stop these personal attacks and get
back to why we go out there in the first place, anybody want to share
those memorable moments when everything just seems perfect out there.
I'll start with a few I remember from last year.

Near Burnt Rancheria campground there's a great desert view overlook.
I got to witness sunrise over the Anza Borrego Desert just a few days
into my thru-hike. It did wonders to alleviate the trepidation and
nervousness I'd been feeling over having taken on such a seemingly
impossible undertaking. Instead, I could simply enjoy area I was
walking through.

The next came on top of Glenn Pass. We'd been hit by a late season
snow storm that forced many of us out of the mountains. I'd made and
unplanned trip out Kearsarge Pass to Independence to augment my then
depleted food stores. When it finally came time to climb the last few
yards to Glenn Pass, it felt like I'd been battling with this demon
for three straight days. My adrenaline carried me up over that rock
scramble so quickly that I don't even remember breathing hard. Of
course I was but the exhilaration of it over defeating the invisible
demon had numbed me to the efforts. While standing on the pass, I had
no doubts that I'd later be standing on the Canadian border for the
first time in my hike.

The 30 mile dry stretch of the Hat Creek Rim ends by Baum Lake. After
suffering through the heat of the day up on the rim, I settled down to
make dinner next to the lake. There were over a dozen ospreys circling
overhead looking for fish. Every now and again, one would swoop down
making a big splash in the lake. Then the fun would start. The large
sea birds (pelicans ???) that were floating nearby would charge over
trying to help themselves to the osprey's catch. When the osprey
became airborne their real problem developed. The bald eagle perched
nearby would make chase. The sleek ospreys were no match for the
powerful wings of the eagle and even with large head starts were soon
over taken. Nearly a third of the time, the eagle would execute an
aerobatic barrel roll and snatch the fish away. My half hour dinner
break quickly turned into an hour and a half of spectating. All the
while a little voice in my head kept repeating, "miles to go before I
sleep..." as I needed to get as close as I could to Burney Falls for a
morning resupply.

So what stories do the rest of you have?


Karl "Birdman" Brandt PCT97 LT98                       (650) 725-3686

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