Day 81

Oct 5
Miles:  13
PCT:  670.2 – 683.2
Total Miles:  947.5
Elevation gain:  4075

Today was hot, dry with clear skies and direct sun all day.  There were big climbs again today with lots of elevation gains.  I was somewhat tired from yesterdays climbs, so with the heat, I was dragging all morning.  By 1 pm, I was boiling from the sun and was worried about sweating away all my water supplies.  I decided to set up my tent in the shade of a tree and snooze until about 4 pm when the sun would be less brutal.  Unfortunately, after about an hour in the tent, the shadow of the tree moved with the sun and I was in direct sunlight, boiling in my tent.  I got up and moved the tent to another tree that gave some partial cover, but it still had some direct sun.  I could not find a better shade.

At 4, I got going again.  There was a campsite at 13 miles, which was halfway up a steep climb.  The next camp was at 19 miles on the other side of the mountain.  I originally planned to night hike due to the mid-day break, but I felt so tired, I decided to stop at 13 miles.  A very short day, but it didn’t feel like it.

All the springs today were dry.  I had only used 2 liters since I filled up this morning, but I was pretty dehydrated and I need lots of water to camp for cooking and sipping at night.  I was worried again that if I didn’t find water tomorrow, it could be a bad situation so I conserved water all night and stayed dehydrated.

Today, I developed a sharp pain on the side of my left foot near the little toe.  I didn’t see a blister but the skin is cracked and made it difficult to walk.  I stopped and applied a blister pack that contains something called Hypergel in a bandaid.  I put some moleskin on top of the bandaid to make sure it would stay on.  It was amazing!  The blister pack immediately stopped all pain and I was able to walk normally.  later in the day, it got a little sore, but not a problem walking.  I will be using these packs for all future foot sores.

There were lots of small, black flies all day that drove me to put on my head net.  They seem to target your eyes with zig-zag dive bombing that makes your eyes follow the fly to its destination in your eye.  Maddening!  The head net worked, but was hot and annoying to wear. 

This picture has a coiled up rattlesnake in it.  Can you find it?  Scared the crap out of me when it started rattling.  I wasn’t sure where he was but the rattle was quite loud.  My first rattlesnake on the trail.  I fear that I will see many more before the hike is over.

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This is the spring I found the night before and allowed me to continue hiking.  I took it in the morning so it was dark, and illuminated by my headlamp.  I can’t remember how to turn on my camera flash :).

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Bill (Blackhawk Down)

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2 Responses to Day 81

  1. Rick & Wanda says:

    what? no close up pic of the rattlesnake??? 😉 We’re thinking top center of the photo, but dang if we can see anything looking like a rattler for certain.

  2. billweberx says:

    It was hard to see with my eyes. They blend in the weeds really well. I didn’t feel like hanging out messing with the zoom.

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