Racing Winter on the Pacific Crest Trail – Day 33

Day- 33
Date- 5-16-16
Location- Side of trail
Elevation- 3,704
Distance Traveled Today- 16.9 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 471.4 miles
Weather/Temp- clear,  high 70s 80s
Injuries- none
Pain level- low
Spirits/Morale- High
Days without shower- 3
Hunger/craving- low


We had a slow start leaving the hostel, then getting a bite to eat at the local grocery store,  but luckily,  the trail was the road that ran right by it. 

After more than a two mile road walk through town, the trail turned to dirt again, and we were heading back into the mountains. It was another hot one.

Dirt, dust, cattails, and scrub…that was the name of the game today. Katana didn’t seem the least bit inhibited by her puffy eye, and trotted down the trail energetic as ever, chasing lizards as she went. 


We had one little hiccup as we sat beneath a rocky over hang in the shade around midday. A bee buzzed Katana’s face, and she snapped it in her mouth out of mid air. I couldn’t even react fast enough.  She quickly chewed it up for about two seconds before she began shaking her head furiously in an attempt to spit it out.  She got stung on the tongue. Poor little dog has been having a rough week.  Luckily, she never swelled up anywhere,  but it was a life lesson hard learned. 


Towards the end of the day, I came across a nearly 4 ft Gopher Snake laying half off the trail.  I quickly grabbed it before Katana, holding it out of her reach as it hissed, struck at me,  and tried to double back up the length of its body in an effort to bite my hand where it was gripping the tail.  I quickly got control of the head, luckily without it biting me,  as Katana jumped up against my leg trying to get at it.


I took some pictures and video, then waited about ten mins for Schweppes to catch up,  so he could see it up close.

I hadn’t caught a Gopher Snake since I was 12 years old, living in central California. It was another nostalgia trip for me to see one now.  Another reptile checked off the list.

I let the snake go back into the scrub, and he disappeared fairly quickly, but not quickly enough.  As we stood there talking for a couple more mins,  Katana suddenly shot into the thick scrub about eight feet.  I heard a loud hiss,  then saw her jump about three feet to the side.  I immediately thought she had gotten a hold of it and was about to thrash it,  but luckily she hadn’t.  The snake held its own as I jumped into the scrub between them and snatched Katana up before she could mount a second attack. Dog on snake homicide avoided.


Now we’re cowboy camped just off the side of the trail, almost beneath some bushes. We have a short day planned to check out a famous hostel called Casa De Luna.  I’m curious to see what it’s about…


Go to Day 34

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