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COUNTY: Tehama County
LOCATION DETAILS: Access from East. Started high and paralled the
river for 5 - 7 miles.
NEAREST TOWN: Paskenta
NEAREST ROAD: Bald Rock Road
OBSERVED: Backpacking with my younger brother in Middle Eel Yolla Bolly wilderness, california. He was 16, I was 21.
This is a very remote area. We had a great deal of difficilty getting there via rough logging roads. First night, close to the trail head we heard lots of animal sounds which reinforced the remoteness of the area.
The next morning we hiked out of our camp and started heading down to the river. This was not by choice, it was the only trail out of there.
I'll admit to being distressed that day. We got lost twice (once with attendant panic), and ran out of water about 4 to 5 miles in. We were paralleling the Eel River and decending in altitude.
My hope was that would make it to the river but the trail was wiped by a slide. Going down the slope to the river was out of the question as it was far to steep. We hiked a little further to get a better look at the slide. Water was getting to be a real concern now. A few hundred yards from the slide was a trickle of water crossing the trail. This was the only water we had seen for miles. There was just enough room to get our canteens partly filled.
There was mud where the water crossed the trail and there was a giant foot print in the middle of it. It was maybe 18 to 19 inches long and maybe 6 to 7 inches wide. Water was seeping back into the depession, which gave me a sick feeling like the thing had just been there.
There was no misinterpretation. We both quickly dismissed it as a bear (or human) track. The area up slope of the seep was disturbed but more like a very rough game trail, very steep.
It was late in the afternoon at that point. I made the decision that we would have to spend the night in that location. This elicited howls of protest from my 16 year old brother. We layed out our bags a few yards away and spend a wide awake night in that location.
No unusal sounds were heard during the night. We high tailed it out of there as soon as there was light.
OTHER WITNESSES: Two filling canteens.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Late afternoon.
ENVIRONMENT: Trail cut on deep slope. Very hot and dry with typical vegetation for that elevation. Some oaks, Bull Pine, manzanita.
Follow-up investigation report:
There are no further details to add to the report.