Jason Evans on The Pacific Crest Trail…

by | Mar 19, 2021

Jason Evans on The Pacific Crest Trail…



The trail in Washington yesterday reminded me of a mid-morning of memories that will stay with me longer than most. It was the Alpine Wilderness, in the Klamath National Forest of Northern California.

The Pacific Crest Trail cast along a wending, near horizontal path through a rough and steep scree slope.

I came around a bend, and saw grazing, at a rare tuft of verdant scruff, a young buck – a black-tail deer. His nascent antlers downy.

I said aloud “You’re beautiful,” surprised at the sound of my own voice, which I hadn’t heard in at least a day. Pausing in admiration I rested on my trekking poles, and considered our situation.

It was at least a quarter mile south to a spot where the deer or I might safely step off trail. And I knew, the chance the deer would follow me south to do so, was slim.

Certainly the deer wouldn’t brush shoulders with me while I passed. I had no idea what to expect from the trail ahead. And either of us breaking a leg to go around was my utmost concern.

So after a while I stepped forward and paused, and then again … and it seemed like Buck got the idea, and he turned from me to meander up trail.

I followed. Neither of us rushed. For almost a mile we hiked together as such, he always 60 feet ahead, every now and then glancing back to be sure I hadn’t broken our agreement.

He bounded from the trail where we came over a saddle, but as I came up he still stood, facing me from a mossy clearing 20 feet away.

He leaned forward and tapped a front hoof and shook his head at me when I paused again, like he was hooking into a scrum.

I nodded, and continued my journey, leaving him to his.

Jason Evans on The Pacific Crest Trail


About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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