But on to the day’s trek. Wood Lake, materials say, has seen bear activity. It’s also billed as remote and a bunch of other mildly scary things. I found the trail mostly pleasant. Some parts were awesome, and I was able to run a fair amount. I’ve now seen bear poop – I believe it’s officially called bear skat – about a half-dozen times now. How do I know? Well, it’s poop made by a large animal, it’s a kind of poop I haven’t seen before, and it’s poop filled with berry seeds. Put it all together, and I’m sure it’s bear skat. When I see it, I try not to look into the woods as I motor along. But inevitably I glance sideways, and think every downed log is a bear.
Timberland Wilderness was a bit rough. Lots of sticks, logs, some brambly patches. Camp 27 and Newwood run into each other; they were partially nice trail, partially tough trail. At the start of one – I forget which – I had to cross a huge beaver dam lined with wildflowers. The wildflowers were filled with bees. Hundreds. Thousands. Millions. All I could hear was a heavy drone as I made my way across, trying not to pay attention.
Saw my first fellow hiker today — Pat. Last spring, Pat walked from the middle of the state to Sturgeon Bay. Now he’s going in the other direction. Pat had a bear bell around his waist. Bear bells warn bears you’re coming, so they can get out of the way. Why don’t I have one?
On the last long slog before quitting for the day, when I was feeling tired, my mind played a variation of that car game, “I’m Going on a Picnic.” You know, the one where the first person says something like, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing an apple.” Then the second person says, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing an apple and a blanket.” Well, my mind was thinking, “I was going for a nice hike and had to go through bramble. I was going for a nice hike and had to go through bramble and hundreds of bees. I was going for a nice hike and had to go through bramble, hundreds of bees and walk without a bear bell.” And so on.