Lake Morena CG – PCT mile 34
We saw our first rattlesnake today, and it was a BIG one! Rachel was leading and we came around a corner. Within about about a millisecond, she screamed, and as she jumped back towards me I heard the rattle and instantly screamed too. I hadn’t even seen it yet, but I knew for sure what it was! Right behind us was Dave, another thru we’d met earlier. He was totally calm, and tried to scare it off the trail by flinging some sand at it, but Mr. Snake wasn’t having it. We ended up walking around it through some scrubby brush. It was definitely a scary but awesome moment on the trail today! I laugh at the thought of the scene from Dave’s point of view. Two girls seeing their fist [very angry] rattler! It had to be a sight!
Our day started out on sandy trails and reminded both Rachel and I of a couple of training hikes we took at Pictured Rocks this year. I don’t think our sand-walking feet were still in shape though… we both have blisters on our feet. We also had more hot-hot weather, climbing, rocky trail, sweat and dirt. So we had a few factors working against us. We did our best to do what we could about them and we’re feeling pretty good about all of our decisions… but we still have tons to learn!
We’re meeting lots of fun people, too. Stopping for breaks with others is always a treat. We’ve met hikers with trail names like Unicroc, Scat tracker, Glasses, #2, and Cuddles… to name a few. Conversations are usually about water availability, food, blisters, a most recent climb, trail names… Rachel and I still wonder how our names will transform. We’ll see!
Aches and pains are prevalent today. I started out with a slightly sore left hip, worked that into a twingy left knee, aquired the start of a chafe spot, and wrapped up the day with my very own, brand new pinky toe blister! My first PCT blister! Guess I better get used to all this. We’ll get stronger, but getting comfortable being uncomfortable is challenging… and a big part of the awesomeness of all this!
We stopped and set up the tent high up on a ridge tonight. Our GPS coordinates put us almost right on PCT mile #34. We ate one of Rachel’s dehydrated noodle meals with cut-up meat and cheese, and crunched up cheez-its on top. We sat on a rock and ate as the sun sunk down behind a mountain.
Now I’m off to bed. We hope to get sn early start tomorrow morning. There’s cold sodas in 9 miles!
A few more pictures from today: