PCT Day 77: Sore Feet & More Rattlesnakes

July 7

Mile 1526.7-1559.0 (32.3)

I could have slept late into the morning but the bright sun hit me at 6am. I ate bits of this and that. Another sugar-and-oats bar. More chocolate. Caffeine.

This section is so beautiful. The trail stayed up high, where a cool breeze kept me very comfortable. The views kept my spirits high. How lucky I am to be in these mountains!


Pretty little lakes appeared below me at intervals all morning. I ran into a dozen day hikers or over nighters between Deadfall Lake and the trailhead a few miles north. I missed my solitude and cruised into 4mph gear to get it back.


Just past the trailhead, I took a little break to eat snacks and drink water. My feet hadn’t stopped aching from yesterday. They haven’t hurt like this for a long time. After five days off, it felt like I was starting back at square one. Granted, the trail is rocky and my shoes, with 1100 miles on them, are worn thin. Nothing to do but keep hiking.


The trail continued steadily along the contours of the mountains with very little elevation change. Streams were all flowing and clear. I started to feel a little bored. I thought about how I only have 150 miles to Oregon. California is a long state.

I plodded along. I counted miles. 

I heard the rattlesnake before I saw it. They never seem to rattle until I am nearly stepping on them. But I caught myself and gave it space to clear off the trail. It was another brownish one with stripes. 

Two hours later, I came upon another one. This one was fat and lethargic and had coiled up before I saw it. It rattled half-heartedly at me as it hefted its weight off the trail. Its pretty green colors blended well with the low bushes on the side of the trail. I gave it a wide bearth.

I got to camp a little before sunset and tried to eat before bed with little success. My appetite is low. If I hadn’t just taken five zeros, I might think I was exhausted and needed some time off. As it is, I guess I just keep going and hope I start feeling better soon.

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