I get up early as does Poptart and were walking by 5am - Early to bed, early to rise. We hike for a few miles before we stop for breakfast. I chomp on an apple and noodles. We walk on and make 13 miles easily by half 10. We talk the whole way about life, school, work, love, travel, hiking, pets, family, life-goals. Poptart talks of her friend who hiked the PCT last year Southbound. He mentioned that he saw half a dozen rattlesnakes when he was hiking this section. Then we hear a rattle and freeze. It’s in front of us and poised. It’s tail high in the air. We stare at it and it glares back, unmoving. We give up and take a wide path around it. Thankfully it does nothing.
When we arrive at a bridge we chill beneath it in the shady beach trees and get water. I let my feet breath, the plasters have stayed on. The shower at Papa Smurfs was so beneficial to my feet. It’s half past 11 and we’ve hiked 15 miles. We plan on making it a 30 miles day well Poptart is keen to get a 30 mile day in. I’m just happy to walk and see where I end up. A few hikers walk over head on the bridge as we relax. Two Swiss girls stop to chat with us appreciating the shade and water.
Back on the trail we come across the Warner Hot Spring and I go for a dip in a little side pool. It’s so hot- both in and out the water. We dip our shirts in and keep walking. They dry instantly. We follow the edge of a valley as usual, going in and out. We cross a rainbow bridge and make our way to the edge of the valley. We find water, a flowing stream and suddenly there is a gathering of hikers there. The two Swiss girls catch up along with another lady and an older couple. We walk on and make our way to mile 215 which we find is too windy to camp so we hike back a mile to where everyone else is. They’re camped in a sandy bay of the trail surrounding trees. There are ants but luckily they’re not too bad. I eat my noodles, brush my hair and teeth, set up my inner tent and sleep. My legs are vibrating. Everyone’s silent by 8:30 pm. The wind roars around the trees and calms down sometime in the night.