Monday, August 16, 2010

Across the Bob—Day 1

I took 572 pictures on my trip across the Bob, so I'm breaking them up into small groups and posting the best ones. These are from Day 1.

The trail starts with a little climbing, up the small hill in front and then across and over the larger hill behind to get above Swift Reservoir.

Swift Dam

It's still spring in the northern mountains.

Swift Reservoir.  The trail goes a little inland and circles around to the far side.

Through the woods, talking to myself to alert any bears that may be ahead.

Muddy trail.  It had already rained, and some horse group was holding a poker ride of 92 riders, all going around the reservoir, which really chewed up the trail.

On the far side of the reservoir the trail enters the Bob.

The first of three fords of the South Fork of Birch Creek.  It doesn't look deep, but it was a little over knee high in the middle and gave quite a push.  I used my walking stick for support on the downstream side, always keeping at least two points of contact with the river bottom.

More rain.

A wet and muddy trail. 

From the middle of the second ford of the South Fork, looking downstream.  It's clearing up to the east, but still raining in the mountains.

Bear print next to my size 13 fording sandal.  This is one of the best bear prints I have seen.  The claw marks are pretty distinct.

Getting close to sunset, but the mud has put me behind so I'm not ready to stop and camp yet.

I camped near the confluence of the South Fork of Birch Creek and Lake Creek, near where the South Fork emerges from this gorge.


  1. glad to see you made it out alive Cliff. Looking forward to 'the rest of the story', it should be a nice adventure.

  2. Agree; I'm amazed that you did it Cliff!

  3. Question. What do you usually talk to yourself about when you want the bears to hear you? And these pictures are great--can't wait to hear all about it. Very proud of you.

  4. I'm looking forward to more hiking with you! This is a great way to see the wilderness: sit back and look at Cliff's photos. That photo of the bear print is a wowzer.

  5. Thanks, D, Brian and Mary.

    LDB, I usually just make comments to myself about things I see. I think at that point I was saying "Damn, this is a muddy trail." I know--not very interesting, but if the bears don't run off, at least they'll be too bored to attack. A few times when I got really tired and delirious I even sang when the woods got thick and I couldn't see. Once I sang "Non piu andrai" from Marriage of Figaro, but then I didn't see any wildlife for about three days, so I didn't do that anymore.