Since a good portion of the park was closed for the big wigs and Dolly for the 75th Aniversary Dedication, I decided to head to Ramsey's Prong for some Brookie fishing. I love Ramsey's! It's a place that is pretty isolated in the park, but beacause of easy access, still get enough use that one knows they probably won't be alone on the trail. Not a bad place for a solo adventure. As I got out of my car I see this young buck at the trailhead.
He looks at me taking his picture then scants off into the woods. I gear up and get ready for my hike. As soon as I start hiking I see the deer just ran a few yards off and was feeding in the woods next to a tree. He was very skinny and you could see the velvet on his antlers.
I then crossed the bridge and headed on my hike. While the Virgin forest doesn't start for several miles up the trail, it is still very nice forest and makes for pleasant hiking.
I was in hiking bliss making my way up the trail dreaming of that monster Brookie when I awoke from my stupor to see this!
Well it turns out I'm not the only one hiking this trail today. I guess that was bear scat I saw a few hundred yards back (like a big dog only really black). Ok well this bear isn't much bigger than a large dog which initially eases my worries until Junior comes out of the brush. Now I'm a bit more concerned as Momma bears with babies is a recipe for trouble. I'm only about 30-40 yards away which was a little too close for me. Momma didn't look to concerned and they both continued feeding.
About that time a group of 6 hikers coming the other way had stopped on the other side of her. While I was glad to see others, I didn't like the fact the bear and cub was stuck between us. We both waited and let the bear call the shots. When they got about 10 yards off the trail the other group passed on the trail. We talked a minute and said they saw the bear right below the parking area when thay started early that morning. I told them I was glad to see them, and asked that they wait for me to pass the bear before heading on. While it was a bit nerve raking for me, the bears seemed unphased as to anything being wrong. Just a day of foraging for food like any other, and it looked like this non native specie was not on the menu so I just passed on the trail. Once safely past the bears I tlooked back at what FCFLy referred to as "Bear Alley" on our last trip to the headwaters of the Middle Prong. I guess he knows what he is talking about. Check out this monster tree that had to be cut out of the trail. Some sweet forest for sure!
I soon make it to the turn around where Ramsey's flows into the Middle Prong. I rig up and head up for a great day. Within 5 minutes I met this friend. He's a native.
I'll follow up in a response post as I'm out of picture posting room.
To Be Continued..........