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Best hiking day--EVER!


TollerMom

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TollerMom

Last weekend my friends and I hiked into Desolation Wilderness from the Bayview trailhead in Tahoe above Emerald Bay. We were revisiting the Velma's Loop ~ a 13 mile loop that takes you next to, near-by and within view of several lakes. We last did this hike in Sept 2012 and posted a trip report at the time on TrailGroove. This time we did the clockwise route starting with Dicks Lake, then Fontanillis, the passing by the Velma's.

Late in the afternoon we were heading back down the switchbacks below Granite Lake. I was in the lead, cruising down the trail, thinking how good my legs felt, with Pink Floyd's "We Don't Need No Education" playing in my head. Feeling the groove - ya know?!

From somewhere behind me on the trail, I heard my friend urgently shout out in a not-so-quite whisper..."Jenny! BEAR!". I spun around..."WHERE?". She pointed through the trees to the right of us just as I heard a loud C-R-A-C-K! I dropped my poles, grabbed my camera and ducked off the trail into the forest for a closer look.

I stood staring in absolute wonderment. There in the forest below me was a fat, fat Black bear, just ripping the bark off a tree. Bark was flying everywhere. With each swipe of his huge paws, he would lean in and lick the tree; must have been some good bugs in there. He pawed and dug around and lay on his side with his tongue lapping away at the tree for quite some time.

We watched him for several minutes...snapping photos like crazy. After a bit, he must have tired of spitting out splinters because he got up on all fours and shook him/herself, turned toward us and slowly began ambling up in our direction - perhaps thinking a couple sweaty hikers would make for a nice dessert. We took that cue, grabbed our poles--and with one last look over our shoulders to be sure we weren't being chased, we headed back down the trail. TrailGroove at its finest!

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Aaron Zagrodnick

Great photos...That's close! From the looks of that tree I'm guessing it will continue to be a frequent stop along the evening buffet. :D

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Wow, what a great sight! How far away was he? I'm with Bobo Uzala... hope you used a telephoto lens!

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HikerJen

Yikes! Awesome pics! But I hope to never see a bear on a trip - unless it's the mini-bear type!

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TollerMom

Very Nice!! Awesome shots! I think ill be getting the t5i pretty soon. What camera did you use?

Dan

Eastern Backpacking(FB page)

I carry a Nikon 5100 in a Zpack pouch on the front of my camelbak. Its heavy but I like the pics. I don't have a zoom so this picture is a combination of stepping into the woods to get a closer look...and doing a couple of crops post-processing. The bear was still pretty close.

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TollerMom

Wow, what a great sight! How far away was he? I'm with Bobo Uzala... hope you used a telephoto lens!

No telephoto..just some cropping later at home. I am not good at measurements but he was close enough to see his tongue lapping at the tree and to also see the tag in his ear.

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