thwarted by evil cows

First Day of Training!! So the best way to train for a thru hike is to backpack. If you don’t have enough time to do a backpacking trip then the second best thing to do is fill your pack with a bunch of stuff and go on a long day hike. I stuffed a bunch of clothes in my pack and a ridiculously  extravagant  lunch and a few liters of water (hopefully about

20 pounds in all) and took the Bart to Orinda station to Hike to Berkley on the De Lavaega  trail.

This trail starts at a very steep climb to get over the east bay hills. I am tremendously out of shape. The birds were drowned out by my wheezing and puffing for air. It is just beautiful in the bay area this time of year. The hills are green and comely covered in brilliant california poppies, lupins, buttercups and blooming oak trees.

All was going well until I suddenly come over a hill and am face to face with a big Bull and a baby cow. I was verysurprised and immediately  retreated back down the trial to consider my options. After a little self pep talk I decided I would walk by them. As I approached them they looked wary. The Bull lowered his impressive horns to the ground and started snorting menacingly. I turned right around and went back up the trail again to reconsider.

I feel like such a wimp.I am supposed to be training for the pct! I can just imagine telling people , “we were going to hike the pacific crest trail, but there was this cow…”. I decided I would not be thwarted. I scrambled off the trail  onto the steep slope through tall grass and some spiky thorns and went around the Bull.  I found my way back to the trail and was feeling very proud of myself when I approach thirty more cows and bulls spread out in a line half a mile across the trail in each direction. (so I guess that wasn’t just smelly mud I that I fell in) Damn. I tried to approach again, more menacing snorts. I tried to climb down the ridge again but was faced with impassible bushes. I tried to climb over the ridge but the herd seemed to extend for miles. I gave up and had lunch on a rock in a beautiful poppy field.

Why are animals so much more menacing in the wilderness? I drive by cows all the time, “Look at the lovely cows!” I say. They were illustrated so peacefully on the very cheese I was scarfing right now.  They seemed misrepresented. Feeling dejected I decided to go back the way I came. I can hardly imagine myself skipping nonchalantly passed angry rattle snakes or scaring off 300 pound bears if I can’t even man up around a domestic animal. Maybe I am just a silly girl after all.

On the bart ride home I sat next to a group of pretty girls on their way into the city for a night on the town. One of the girls changed seats. I couldn’t blame her, I was sweaty, my shoes were leaking water  and I was covered in mud and cow manure. Her disgust did make me feel slightly better though.


~ by elenimonos on April 17, 2010.

3 Responses to “thwarted by evil cows”

  1. You are far from a silly girl. I am so excited to be able to read these. I hope you keep it updated when the real adventure begins 🙂

  2. Hmm, while you were dealing with this bull I was zipping by cows riding my road bike on the Nimitz Trail and various single tracks in Wildcat Canyon. Had to carry the bike sometimes but it serves as a physical barrier for animals of most sorts. The backpack does too if you put it in front of you. Otherwise, just shoot them. All the best on the adventures. I want to follow all the way through Northern California from the Siskiyous down into the Sierras.

    • I never thought of using my backpack as a shield. Good advice! I have never been to wild cat canyon, is that in the east bay? Is it good for hikers or just bikers?

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