Malaspina Survival and Bear Poop
After a painful day and night I set out the next day.  It started with a 4 km climb to Manzanita Hut to a high point that over looked the ocean to the west.  It was absolutely beautiful in the morning light.  I wished I had had the energy to make it up there the previous night but that extra climb would have hurt..  The hillside was a grove of red colored Manzanitas against the tawny colored grasses and green mosses.  The hut, recently built, was perched in the perfect location for a beautiful sunset and a bug free breeze in the evening.  I lingered to get some photos and then headed on down the trail.
I was deep in thought about “stuff”.  That being the general term for random thoughts.  I was climbing down and I heard a thump on the ground and shuffle.  I looked up to see a very large black bear grazing his way through tall Salal bushes.  It was about 50 feet away.  I stopped, grabbed Taz by his pack handle and said "Hey there mister bear, we are here.  I retrieved the bear bell that I had stuffed in Taz's pack and attached it quickly to his pack.  I guess we needed that bell.  I heard a thud and then a quick shuffle in the opposite direction. I was pretty confident that he wanted nothing to do with us and was gone before we new it but...I realized that there probably a lot of bears in this area and we needed the bear bell and to be alert for signs of bears which, as i saw on the rest of the trip, were everywhere.
I had decided that I wasn’t going to do the full 11 days of hiking.  So I strategized on how to lighten my load.  I decided to stash unecessary gear at the Malaspina Rd and come back after I finished the 4 days and pick it up in my car.  When I reached the rode I unpacked everything I didn’t remotely need and took the 5 pd bear cannister and used it to stuff the unwanted items in to.  I lightened my load by about 10 pds.  I then stashed the bear cannister into an old tree stump and covered with moss.  Then mentally retraced my steps so I could retrieve it later.
Now I felt good.  With less weight I was able to make better time and had less pain in my back.  My camp for the night was hopefully a lower camp along a FS road at a campground.  As I hiked further I came to a old forest of mature Cedars towering over an old road bed / trail covered in green moss.  There was a bench near a stream so we stopped.  Taz to get a drink and me to rest my feet.  There was a campground off the trail.  We checked it out.  Beautiful but if I camped now I’d have an equally long day of hiking tomorrow.  If I continued to the next camp site I would have a short day the following day.  So after a rest we continued on.  Eventually, after weaving on boardwalks through a bog we came to the road.  No campground.  I ran into some day hikers and they said that 3 hikers had continued on up the trail (the Vancouver group) and that there was a bathroom just around the corner.  So the camp site was apparently a pull out in the road with an out house.  I decided to continue to Revelie’s Pond.  Another 4km up the trail.  
It was a long climb up to the pond.  Straight up another ridge, then down a logging road and then another section through deep forest.  I arrived at a stream outlet and then hiked around the lake to the hut where the Vancouver group was also camping.  I peeled off the pack.  21 km hike today.  I was tired.  I found a great place to camp in a clearing with a thick bed of moss under the tent.  I knew I’d be in a deep exersize induced coma.  
Dinner, feed the dog, and good night.  Life is simple!
Taz looking down at our descent down the ridge.
Manzanita near Manzanita hug.
There is moss everywhere in the forest.  REI dog pack colored moss.
View from Manzanita hut.
Looking down toward the clearcut that the trail skirts around.
Looking up at the hut.
Nuria and Taz at the hut.
Nice meeting area.
Looking south from the hut.
Wild Rhodies.
The ever present B.C. clearcut.
Looking down at Okeover Inlet to the east.
Indian lands and where I stashed my gear for a couple of days.
Taking a break.  Tired dog.
A much needed break at the half way point on day 2.
Forest canopy.  Much to my surprise most of the hike was in the forest.
More fungi.  Only these are more translucent.
Big push for Rieveley's Pond hut.
Vanilla Leaf.
Rieveley's Pond hut.
Benches, a table, a hammock, and sleeping loft.  Not bad for the backcountry.
Room with a view.
Taz wants to go sleep in the loft.  I'm sure he can get up but can he get down?
Tonight's dinner with Organic Matters quinoa, maca powder, spirolina, and freeze dried veggies from Mt. House.
Rieveley's Pond.
Rieveley's Pond.  There were lots of critter tracks in the mud around the pond including Taz's.
Rieveley’s Hut.
Nestled on a bed of Moss.  It made for a comfortable night's sleep.
Skyscape above my tent.
Sleepy dog.
Well rested and ready to go the following day.

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