23 Apr Day 27 – Critters
Hiked 21.8 miles today. At mile 482.4.
It was a day for the critters. Got stung by 2 bees and saw my 3rd Rattlesnake. The snake was hiding in a bush beside the trail and rattled when I passed. I l also saw the largest lizard so far, 12 inches; it seems the hotter it gets, THe larger the lizards grow.
The morning started with the most beautiful green mountain meadows I had seen on this hike. Upon crossing a mountain ridge, the landscape changed to a hot dry landscape of chalky and sandy mountains. As the morning passed the heat increased. Having an early start I didn’t mind taking a long break from the heat. I picked out a spot where the trail turned into a cleft between slopes. I knew there would be shade there, but was surprised to see a large overhang rock formation that provided refreshing refuge from the heat. The stones were actually cold. A sign was posted that a Boy Scoit Troop had improved the spot. I also noticed a swarm of bees buzzing in and out of a nest deep inside an opening in the rock. I chose a spot as far away from the bees as possible and made myself comfortable in the shade..I rested my bare feet on smooth cold rocks as I laid back on my pad and drank water. It was so cool that I used my down jacket as a cover and took a nap. Full Sail and Wit came up and I awoke. Fit stepped into the shade and as I warned him about the bees he was stung. Another bee chases Full Sail down the trail. Both long gone, I tried to settle back to my nap, but I wasn’t the only one to have been awakened. First one bee attacked. I stayed where I was and defended my territory, but the bee would not give up. Eventually, I had to gather all my stuff and move out of harms way. Score, (Me) 2 stings, one on toe and one on nose, (Bees)!1 dead bee.
Here I am relaxing in the cool spot before other hikers stirred up the bees.
Here is the cool refuge from a very safe distance. It is In the rocks.
Here is the green of the early day.
On top of the mountain in the green area was a lot of wildflowers.
A cool rock that I had to photograph.
More flowers. I think these were fireweed. The humming birds (another critter) were working on these flowers. This made me realize something about what happened yesterday. I was taking a beak when I heard something fly by very fast. The whir had a Doppler effect. I wondered at the time that nothing in nature would move that fast. Now I realize that it must have been the straight line flight of a hummingbird.
Here is a photo from Casa De Luna, a kind of free hostel similar to Hiker Heaven, but much less organized, very laid back, and hippyish. People paint rocks and place them in the Manzanita forest where guests camp. They cook for you and feed you. I didn’t stay since I wanted to hike in the cool evening.
I came over the last mountain of the day and had a view of the Mojave desert I will soon be walking through.
Here is the view from the start of the day when I woke up Fromm my trailside cowboy camp.
Here is a view of the trail I had hiked with headlamp the night before.