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The Great Grizzly Bear Adventure

By: Carmen
Trip Date: summer 2000

That's what I titled my journal, and it has definitely been true. We have been to remote corners of the North Cascades National Park and Pasayten Wilderness and have bushwhacked to places very few people will ever see. It has rained, snowed, been sunny, rained some more... The last part of the season has been beautiful and sunny (for the most part), which has been perfect since this is when we are visiting the high-elevation ridgelines and subalpine meadows. I have never seen places so beautiful! Standing on a ridge up freeze-out, I wondered how many handfuls of humans have seen this sight. It is inspiring to know there are still totally wild places left, but it is also sad to think we have pushed such magnificent animals as the grizzly bear into the most remote corners of the state. This makes conservation of these last remaining large expanses of true wilderness even more important.

Luckily, I don't have any "close encounter" bear stories to tell, but we did see lots of wildlife, sign and tracks. I saw 6 black bears at the beginning of the season. All of them were running the other way as soon as they saw us, though, so I mainly got butt views. I also saw a porcupine in the Pasaytens, mule deer almost everywhere, lots of snowshoe hares, hoary marmots and other small Rodentia. We saw tracks and scat of black bears, deer, moose, mountain goat, elk, cougar, coyote and some questionable ones.

All in all, it has been a great summer! And Mary, thank you so much for your organic backpacking food. It has made the tastiest, healthiest, lightest dinners I've ever eaten in the backcountry. Every day after a long hike I could look forward to one of your tasty dinners, especially my favorites: Southwestern Couscous, Organic Couscous and Lentil Curry, Italian Polenta, Armenian Pilaf, Organic Pasta with Alfredo Sauce, Cheddar Cheese or Marinara Sauce... I am also hooked on eating your organic Tabouli for lunch. It is so light to pack and easy to make- just add cold water to it in the morning.

The packaging has been multi-use, too. At the beginning of the season when it rained all the time, we had the opportunity to stay in a trail crew cabin a few nights. We would always use your packaging to light a fire in the wood stove so we could warm up and dry out. On the last trip we were rendezvousing with another crew and they would leave us notes at the trail junctions, written on the packaging, telling us they were ahead of schedule. We even used it to bait with! We got to a site we were supposed to set up, and I had forgotten cardboard to tack to the tree to pour bait over. We just emptied the Organic Pasta with Marinara Sauce into a ziplock and used the paper packaging for the bait. It saved us, and we got to savor the pasta dinner that night.

Thank you again for your wonderful food; it has made the summer even more enjoyable.