Take a Trek

Day 10: Cartwheels in the Grass

3rd Gate to Warner Springs
Miles: 91 to 109 (18)

I encounter my first PCT snake today, a giant slithery thing that looks like it could choke the shit out of a horse. I bushwack through a prickly ensemble of desert scrub to get around my reptilian friend, only to find that he vacated the trail. Where did he go? 

  

Todays siesta is in the shade beneath a small cluster of large oak trees. There’s a spring-fed trough here and enough space to accommodate a few dozen hikers. Everyone is taking there time getting to Warner Springs, six miles down the trail. It’s Sunday and we all have packages that we need from the post office in the morning.

Sheik rescued a ukulele from a hiker box in Julian and strums a soft reggae song. He has the voice of a seasoned musician, a performer, and a few hikers sit attentively by his side. There’s an eleven-year-old girl doing cartwheels in the grass. Her name is Rabbit and she’s attempting a thru-hike with her father, Canyon. When I inquire about her journey, her eyes light up and a smile spreads from one ear to the other. She’s a blessing to the trail, an inspiration to everyone she meets.

I unfold my foam sleeping pad next to the trough, kick off my dusty trail runners, and rest my shoulders on a small log. Kett is asleep, to my left, and Stick sits on a rock to my right, picking at his feet. A blue hummingbird appears, it’s wings moving impossibly fast, and sips water from the faucet. I close my eyes, a cool breeze rolls across my brow, and I drift away. It’s a nice day for cartwheels in the grass.

  • My friend pween says that looks like a bull snake. not poisonous but dont take chances.

  • or possibly a gopher snake

  • pween

    yea, not a bullsnake actually i take that back. most likely some kind of gopher snake. how big was it?

    • Dr. No

      Looked like it could have been 4 or 5 feet stretched out, biggest snake I’ve ever bumped into.