July 24, 2017: Hiked Miles 1464.6 to 1493.9 (29.3 total)
I have slept so great the past two nights. I guess hiking all day really is the key. When I woke up this morning I couldn’t believe the alarm was already going off and I had slept so well. Usually I wake up countless times during the night, but I didn’t wake up once that I remember. I didn’t really want to open my eyes yet, but the thing about hiking the PCT is you always wake up hungry. And hunger definitely outweighs sleep. So getting up is never that hard when the prospect of food is in front of you.
We packed up. We ate. And then he hiked. Just another typical day on the PCT. The hiking today was not too exciting. We pretty much sidehilled up and down mountains all day, mostly in the trees, so there wasn’t a lot to look at, but it did stay fairly cool.
We passed a gorgeous creek sometime in the morning.
We hiked fast. I don’t know if it’s because that’s what we do now or if it’s because we knew we had a long day ahead of us. But we made it almost 18 miles to our lunch spot by 1:00, definitely the most we have ever done by that early on in the day.
We celebrated by cooling off, eating, and relaxing next to Squaw Creek for a nice long lunch break.
I finally woke Colton up and peeled us away from our amazing spot to continue on. We had a long uphill climb after that and even saw a rattlesnake on the way up. We were definitely caught off guard seeing one out here in the forest, and I think we scared him too. After Colton jumped back, the snake finished crossing the trail he had been resting in and started slithering away. Then he stopped, changed his mind, and started slithering back towards us. We backed up a little and then he stopped and we had a stare-off for a minute. Then he started coiling his long body up, getting into attack mode. We gave up waiting at this point and decided to just clamour up the hill a little ways and go around that part of the trail. Good try snake. You may have venom, but we have brains. They may be hiker trash brains, but they’re still brains. The weird thing about the snake was his color. He was green instead of the yellowish-brown color we usually see. I’ve never seen a green rattler before. Must be to blend into the forest. I wanted to take a picture, but something told me the coiled, ready-to-pounce snake might not be the friendliest trail model.
We kept hiking and made it to the top of the ridge. And were greeted by none other than Mt. Shasta herself.
For an hour we kept winding along the ridge and getting better and better views of the mountain.
We hiked until we hit water which was a nice spring coming right out of the mountain. The water was so refreshing during a hot afternoon.
We hiked another mile and a half where the trail hit a logging road and we found a little flat spot to camp right next to it. And guess what it had… a perfect view of Mt. Shasta!
Even after living close to this mountain for years, it’s beauty and grandness always amazes me. I was so excited to have such an amazing camping spot and we just stared at the mountain all through dinner watching as the sun slowly ttransformed it into a painting.
Now we’re laying in our tent, reading and blogging, watching the stars emerge, trying to decide whether I have energy to find a snack or just hope my stomach stops rumbling and wait til morning, rubbing our sore feet from walking 29 miles, and feeling so blessed to be able to be here, right now, in this exact place, and enjoy this journey.