Awaking to the dawn light of the sun over the San Felipe mountains, we packed up camp and continued climbing. The cool of the morning quickly gave way to the hot of the desert. Multiple switchbacks meant the climb was reasonably gentle compared to many of the trails in NZ. We packed water for ten miles, and needed every drop of it. Just before we got to the water cache we encountered our next rattlesnake on the trail. This time I was up front and he quickly let me know that we weren’t going to be taking the path. The issue was that there was a steep drop to our left, so we climbed up the bank to our right and over the snake. Hiking on to the water cache we met up with Gummy Bear, a French women, and Milar again. Deciding that it would be better to hike through the day rather than wait until it cooled, we climbed the next three miles to the top as it got even hotter. Views to the north out to Warner Springs showed patches of green, a tempting site after hiking through a burnt landscape for the last two days. The climb down involved a long descent around huge switchbacks, until reaching our campsite at Barrel Springs. Just before camp we reached 100 miles hiked on the PCT. At the spring we found that the horse trough had been stocked with soda, which we greedily drank down after finishing 19 miles at 3:30. A leisurely end to the day saw us lying in our tents with our feet up. My right foot has at this point around five blisters in various states of development, but otherwise our bodies appear to be holding up. We drifted off at 8:30 to sounds of owls and woodpeckers and the snoring of nearby hikers.
Miles hiked – 19
Total snakes seen – 4