8/2, day 98, 10,078′
What a fun social day! First we saw a cowboy with a pack train, but no conversation there. He was followed by the guide and clients. The guide knew we were CDT hikers and started the clients asking questions. Then we met two sets of trail crew, one building a bog bridge in the meadow and a large group of volunteers building a bridge. Both groups were happy to see hikers rather than horse trains. The bridge builders took our picture as their first customers.
After we left the crews we went to two places that I’ve waited years to see: Two Ocean Pass and Parting of the Waters. The pass as just another marsh that can drain either to the Atlantic or Pacific and since the marsh doesn’t have a dramatic flow there wasn’t a lot to see. Two Ocean Creek was a large flowing creek with falls and flowers so it was very pretty, but the best part was the point where the land divides the water, which then flows into the Atlantic Creek and the Pacific Creek. Wow! I sat at the fork to filter water and filled my bottle half full from the Atlantic Creek, moved the intake hose and then, still sitting in the same place, finished filling my bottle from the Pacific Creek.
Our social day ended with dinner guests. We stopped early to cook before camping so food smells didn’t attract bears to our campsite. Our mac & cheese was just about ready when two black bears arrived, a sow & cub. I saw them on the trail about 10 feet behind Ken. I inhaled audibly and shouted, “Stop bears!” They turned and retreated up the nearest trees, then came down. I grabbed my bear spray from its holster and removed the guard, then started throwing everything back in my pack. Ken grabbed the camera but decided they were gone so we gulped our mac&cheese. We heard coughing noises and saw the big bear still in the tree! Ken took a picture and we quickly left carrying dirty dishes.
We are camped right before the YNP border, as far from the bears as we could get. We’ll sleep better here.