April 14: Well, we had our first bear invasion incident. Last night a bear came into camp and snorted and growled between Loren and Ian tents. He then went to the nearest food bag and scratched up the trunk of the tree that had the food bag. That’s why you tie the rope to an adjoining tree. The bears have figured out that they scratch through the para cord that’s tied to the tree. We are all hanging the bags a little farther away from the tents.

The hike today was fourteen miles to Rufus Murphy shelter. It was mostly down very steep ravines dropping 3000 feet during the day. Such steep descents are just the worst. Every joint screams from the constant jumping down on to rocks and roots. Everyone has multiple blisters from the constant sliding inside their boots. We are camped out with the usual crew with the addition of Wahoo and Flower Child who have reappeared. I hurt all over. Tomorrow we have the toughest ascent yet, 4000 feet up over 2.5 miles. It is eight o’clock which is called hiker midnight– time for bed. Happy trails.

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