31 Mar Day 5 – Rattlesnake at 73.1 mile Tentsite
Hiked 18.5 miles, at mile 74.5
Other hikers had selected earlier tent sites with good views. Though beautiful tent sites, they were exposed to an increasingly brisk wind. One after another, I bypassed these exposed sites and hiked on in search of a site that was more sheltered from the wind. I had entered the real desert with cactus and spiny things all around. I soon learned to be careful when laying down my pack. My sitting pad had already picked up some barbs which brushed onto my finger. To avoid these cactus hazards, the best option was to stick to official tent sites. It was 6 pm so I had decided that wind or not, I would not bypass the next tent site. That site at mile 73.1 turned out to be level, roomy, well sheltered from the wind, and clear of cactus growth. It was perfect, but at this time of day, I would have accepted much less. Very excited about my good find, I walked off the trail for a quick glance at the site. I was met by a rattlesnake. Maybe, this site wasn’t so perfect after all. I hiked on.
Yesterday I met Three-Cats, Double Check, and Wolf Legs. They had just finished lunch and were packing. Double Check said, “You get the Fritos?” Today, I have started thinking about Fritos. It is all I can think about. I’ve descended a great deal from the mountains and I am now in the desert. Something about the desert that makes me crave Fritos.
I’m hearing about thru hikers that got off the trail, cashed it in, gave up the ghost. One was rescued off Mt San Jacinto when a slip on the ice caused an ankle injury. A brother of someone I was hiking with for a while quit the trail only 20 miles in. He had blisters. He had never really hiked before.
I just figured out why the heat was bothering me so much. I had been drinking so much water, but not replacing electrolytes. The Frito craving gave me the clue. I thought a bit and recalled that I had an electrolyte powder for diarrhea in my medkit. I took a long break in the shade and ate salty tuna fish and drank my electrolyte and rested.
Morning photos at Oroflamme Canyon. Moon setting, Sunrise, and Camper Meditating.
Flowers and Cactii