This morning I awoke to the unexpected sound of a Spotted Owl calling outside my tent, but even bigger wildlife was afoot today. About midmorning I spooked a black bear off the trail, not too far in front of me, and had a nice look at its furry backside as the beast ambled away downslope. The encounter was most notable because it took 1,591 miles of hiking before my first bear sighting on this trip; somehow I made it all the way through the Sierra without spotting much more than an occasional dry track. Anyway, I finally saw one!
I walked 20.1 miles in just under six and a half hours today, crossing the Russian Wilderness en route to a lazy afternoon at an air-conditioned motel room in Etna, and a burger and shake for dinner. Looking forward to hitting Oregon in four days.
Maybe you could take some tips from John Duncan (one hiker suggested that he be called the bear whisperer) who is just about a week ahead of you. I think he said he has seen 10 bears so far. Not that you want to encounter a number of bears. I am glad you were able to meet with your mom again. Are you still hiking with Honeybuzz or did you part ways? You are doing a great job. You have many fans.