Saturday, June 27, 2009

Kings Canyon, CA

This is definitely the nicest campground we have been in yet. There is something about the tall trees that is cool and the campground is not crowded. I’ve got to learn, however, to read trail maps better. I went out for what I thought would be a relatively easy 9 mile run just before 7am. My first problem was that I couldn’t find the trail head, so I just kept running and looking for it and eventually found where I expected to finish, and figured I’d do it backwards.

I was a little spooked after seeing the two grizzly bears on the hike the day before and was concerned about being eaten before I was fully ripe (okay, maybe I’m already past ripe). I started out on the trail and decided to sing grizzly love songs so that they could hear me coming and know my intentions were peaceful. I didn’t want to surprise anyone. I soon added cougars to the song, as I heard they also roamed the mountains. The song said something about loving all creatures, although I did admit that squirrels were an exception, but I didn’t think they liked squirrels either. I kept singing for maybe a mile, but then the ascent turned punishing and I was forced to stop singing and just huff and puff. I hoped they would hear my huffing and puffing and be forewarned of my arrival.

It was a tough go until I got to the top of the mountain, but as always out here, well worth it. The reward was great views of the canyon and nearby valley and relatively flat running on top. I could once again resume by bear/cougar love songs. I did see, however, numerous places where people had piled stones on top of each other and figured that they must be memorials to people who died of simultaneous bear/cougar attacks and were ripped to shreds. I added to my song that I did not want to be a Reader’s Digest “Drama in Real Life” story.

After running around the top of the mountain a little, I had a nice descent amongst the large Sequoia trees and made it back without seeing any wild life but birds and squirrels. The run was 10 miles and took longer than I expected, but I wasn’t expecting quite that much of an ascent.

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