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Archive for September 7th, 2006

Big ol moon

Destination: Trail 96
Starting Location: Lava Springs
Today’s Miles: 24.30
Trip Miles: 2218.90
Lava Springs (2258.3, 4520) to Trail 96 (2282.6, 5930) ascent (4423) descent (2615)

Some days are just magical – today was one. The day ended with running into 1977 thru hiker & trail advocate Monte Dodge. My reputation for knowing everyone was reinforced & we enjoyed cookies & perfectly ripe peaches while sitting on a ridge in the Goat Rocks Wilderness.
We saw mountain goats on a far ridge & while we could not see more than a white moving shape we were thrilled to see these King of the Rocks.
We also saw a bear today. He was strapped to the back of a backpack that was being carried by a very happy hunter. I was okay with it. In fact I was happy for the guy. In Washington you can not bait or use dogs to hunt bear. So you have to be skilled in the art & skill of hunting. This hunter had 17 days in the field invested before he had a shot. He spotted the bear over 300 meters away in rough terrain & then put a round right under the arm pit & thus through the vital organs. He was packing out 50 lbs of meat, the skin, the paws, and the gall bladder. And that is so much more legitimate than going to your local highly sanitized grocery store & buying hormone enhanced, cellophane packaged meat.
Monte just broke out gala apples from his huge pack – wow.
Goat Rocks is really impressive & we are being blessed with 75 degree weather with blue skies (smoke) & no wind. I am sure that carrying all this winter gear is contributing to our good karma.
After 24 hours to sleep on my decision to officially end my hike at Manning – I like the idea more & more. It is bringing me back into the journey.
Serendipitously, we took advantage of the weather and camped high in the wilderness. With a view of Mt Adams to the south and Goat Rocks to our east. Thunder saw it first & soon we were all looking east in awe as the moon rose. And not just any moon, but a full moon. And not just any full moon but the brightest full moon of the entire year. According to the paper Andy had read at Trout Lake the moon was 14 – 17% bigger & brighter due to its closer orbit to the earth. Anyway, it was huge & bright – another small thing that is actually incredible if you take the time to look.

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