A dark and windy night led to me having to hop out of tent to replace two pegs that had come loose in a violent gust of wind. Not catching much sleep, we awoke somewhat groggy, letting the other hikers in the area move off. Packing up and topping up on water, we began the first few miles in the early morning sun. The area had a bunch of hikers that we kept meeting as people took breaks, a change from the previous day. After only a few short miles in trees, we descended into a large burnt out section, with little shade. Climbing in and out of this area, we headed towards a pass that would take us into a more forested section. Just as we hit a sharp climb to get us over the ridge, we could see trees ahead, a very welcome sight. Sweating up the climb as the sun hit its zenith, we welcomed the steps into the shade provided by the pine trees. Stopping for lunch at some excellent sitting rocks, we were entertained by the antics of the nearby squirrels and chipmunks. Continuing on, we wandered through more grooves, fully appreciating the wonderful cool air. Another climb led us to a jeep road, which we followed up past some isolated houses. There we crossed the 600 mile mark, and took a much deserved rest under a bush. Early that morning I had explained to Rattles the slim chance of us seeing another rattlesnake on this trip. Within one mile from our stop what should we see but a large diamondback crossing the road at ease. As he was half way I came up to him at the front. We both paused warily. He was highly consciously of his exposed position, and I didn’t want him to think we were a threat. After skipping around him, he took off to the nearest bush, whereupon he made an almighty racket with his tail to warn us off. After this encounter we hiked a couple of miles to water, where we supped and enjoyed having full bottles. Three more miles led us to a gorgeous flat area, with bountiful bushes and trees, perfect for camping. Setting up, I quickly headed for bed, asleep as my head hit the pillow.
Miles hiked – 22