This was my second-ever bonafide backpacking trip and it was with Dean & Steve. My navigational skills hadn't quite developed yet, nor had my backpacking skills. Our destination was Milk Ranch, but pre-GPS, we missed the trail's fork under a sparse snowbank after climbing over 2000' feet in just a few miles. We didn't quite know what to do other than go back to North Ridge to set-up camp. Once we did, our dinner was delayed when we realized Steve had left the stove and pots at the trail fork where we had filtered water.
So off Steve went to retrieve the stove as the sun set without a headlamp as the sun was quickly setting. After 45 minutes or so, Dean and I got a bit worried about Steve's whereabouts, especially since we were the only ones wearing headlamps. Thus, we set out to retrieve Steve and met him halfway down the trail. As we sauntered back to camp something roared at us from behind the trees. We're still not sure if it was a bear or lion, but it sent us running scared back to camp. Lucky me, I didn't even have a tent to feel safe behind, just a big blue tarp and a what I would now consider a horrible sleeping bag. We left the next day, only to find the brakes on Steve's Explorer to be gone. Needless to say it was a fun drive home!
Ryan J Hollister - Geoscience & EnviroSci Educator, Avid hiker, Landscape photographer, WildLink Club Advisor, Central Valley Advocate.