Day 8... I saw a BEAR
Updated: Feb 11, 2019
When I came out of the hotel to load up my bike I noticed I had lost the bolt to my seat.
Luckily there Battle Born Harley Davidson was near by. I stopped for breakfast to wait for the store to open. I got a bolt for my seat and picked up an Air Hawk pad for my seat. The last few days my left sciatic nerve has been hurting really bad from riding so much. I asked the guy at the parts department if it really helped. He just said different strokes for different folks. I told him about the trip and he was floored. I told him I had the stock seat on my bike and he said I was savage for even making it as far as I had with it. He asked if I was with someone taking this trip, when I told him no, he said I was like Amelia Earhart and said that was my new nick name. Everyone there was Super nice. The service department put some air in the pad for me and I talked with one of the sales guys for awhile. It was a nice unexpected stop. I also picked up a Harley pin for my vest there.
Getting back on the road I headed to Lake Tahoe. My weather app called for a 10% chance of rain... and it sure was trying to. I got a little drizzle but nothing to where I had to break out the rain gear. Lake Tahoe was even more crowded then Yellowstone. I think dropping my bike has made me extra cautious because I've slowed down a lot on the turns, then again it may be the thought of no guardrails and a steep drop, nothing like thinking about laying your bike down and skidding off the cliff of a mountain. I was fortunate to pass inspiration point by accident, down the road was a much better vantage point of the island in the south east area of the lake.
After stopping at my original intended destination, inspiration point, I headed to Yosemite to see the Sequoia trees. I got some amazing photos here as well. There was tons of stopping through here, so worth the scenery. I do wish I had enough room in my bags to have packed some tennis shoes or better gear to hike in, as much of the park is hiking trails.
I originally wanted to go to Merced Grove to see the Sequoias the map that I got from the park ranger did not show the grove though. I kept driving there is another place named Tuolumne Grove. I saw the meadow and thought this might be the area... After hiking for a bit I realized it wasn't. I did get a great shot at the river bank so no heartache there. I drove for quite some time and was getting disappointed, all the campsites here were full as well and I was starting to think I was going to miss them. My attitude dipped a little.
Around 7 I finally came across Tuolumne Grove. I stopped and saw a deer near the restrooms about 200 feet away from me. I decided to head down the trail before it got dark. The first tree is 1 mile down this path. Right after I took pictures of the sign saying I was entering the grove I was walking and I heard branches breaking. I though I saw this deer maybe there is another one... I turned around to see a bear running across the path where I had just been stopped. I looked to the right and there were her two cubs. She turned around and looked at me. I just thought oh shit! Don't let me be the one to get mauled by a bear and end up in the news. I also though crap my mace is in my saddle bags. I was backing away from her, and though well shes not coming towards me I'll take a photo... while still backing away lol. Since she was in my way of getting back to my bike I continued down the path, hoping by the time I came back through they would be gone.
I came to the first tree and set up my tripod to take a picture, after the bear charged me and it was getting dark I was not going to walk the rest of the trail.
I started to head back. when I got back to the area where I saw the bears they had not left they only moved up higher on the trails. I stood there for a minute thinking what do I do. I tried making some loud noise to scare them away... nothing. At this point I'm thinking I'm stuck here for awhile. Then on the other side of the curve there was a family walking right towards the bears. I yelled to them that there were bears and that they were heading towards them. They stopped as we were standing there several others came back up form the trail. We stood there for a few moments to see what the bears were going to do. When we lost sight of them we all continued on.
I was able to talk with this young couple who were also taking a month long trip on the west coast. It was nice talking to them and getting some pointers on thing to see and they told me that I won't have a problem camping in Oregon.
Leaving the park it got dark and there were no lights on the roads. I was going down this mountain with all these curves you could only do 20 mph on. It was a little nerve wreaking. I finally found a campsite in La Grange that I did a night registration for at almost 10:00 pm. I was still a little high from the bear incident and it was hard to fall asleep. It was so warm out that I didn't put my fly cover on my tent, it was amazing to fall asleep looking at the stars.