Racing Winter on the Pacific Crest Trail – Day 147

​Day- 147

Date- 9/9/16

Location- Near shore of Lake

Elevation- 4,839 ft

Distance Traveled Today- 21.6 miles

Distance Traveled Total- 2,206.2 miles

Weather/Temp-  clear, 60s, 70s 

Injuries- bee stings

Pain level- low

Spirits/Morale- fortunate

Days without shower- 4

Hunger/craving- pizza


Today was one of the more eventful days I’ve had in a while.  We got another late start around 8 am,  and did a slow and steady burn all day. 

Not 3 miles into the morning, I was randomly attacked by a bee, getting stung on the top of my right knee.  This must have been an Africanized Bee or something,  because it hurt a lot worse than most bee stings I’ve had,  and it throbbed all day. 

Katana had another slammer day, as we’ve continued to push a little further than the previous days.  We’ve had zero paw issues,  and zero motivation issues; it’s been an absolute dream come true.  She’s already falling back into the old swing of things.  I was struggling to keep up with her the past two days,  but today she maintained whatever pace I set,  3 to 10 feet ahead of me.  It put my mind and body at ease,  and I was able to hike in a more relaxed state. 

At around 5:30 pm,  I had one of my most exciting moments on the trail so far.  We were walking along a slight incline,  when a huge elk with a full rack leapt across the trail about 150 ft ahead of us.  Katana didn’t see it,  but she heard and felt the noise it made as it trampled through the vegetation.  She froze,  and I took that moment to hop in front of her and pull out my phone to see if I could catch it on video.  

As we approached the site where the elk had crossed the trail, I began to hear and feel the trampling of more hooves and vegetation.  Katana jumped in front of me in an attempt to get to the spot first.  No sooner did we get there,  I once again heard and felt the sound of many hooves very close by,  so close that it startled me.  When I spun towards the sound,  I couldn’t see anything,  but the vibrations through the ground and the sounds of vegetation being trampled lasted about 10 seconds before the forest went silent.   I leashed Katana to my pack and snooped around a bit to try and get one on camera, but they were gone. 

It’s funny,  because not too long ago, people didn’t take pictures of absolutely everything.  When I was younger,  I had cameras, but I never took pictures of fish I caught,  or snakes,  and I was quite obsessed with both.  Stories of them were always sufficient.  In this digital age that we’re living in,  I sometimes feel like if there isn’t picture proof,  then it didn’t happen.  I almost feel guilty telling a story without a picture to back it up.  I don’t know if it’s just me,  or if most people feel this way nowadays. 

The action wasn’t over for the day,  as I got stung by a bee again on the bottom of my right knee,  about a mile before where I wanted to camp.  What is up with Washington bees?  I saw more in California and Oregon,  but they could land on you all day without stinging you.  These ones in Washington seek you out! 

Now were camped by ourselves next to a small lake.  We’re 20 miles out from our first Washington town of Trout Lake.  It’s very small,  but I’ve heard good things. We’ll get in tomorrow evening,  or bright and early the next day.  The road is supposed to be fairly remote,  so it all depends on traffic.  Since it’s the weekend,  there should be no shortage of people heading to and from the woods.  

Go to Day 148.


  1. I love all the comments on this post! I am sorry that you have suffered from insect stings,but I appreciate the lesson on bald faced hornets. I am very glad that Katana is doing so well being back on the trail. And your blog by itself is excellent,even if it were without pictures,it would be a pleasure to read. Stay safe

  2. I would venture to think that you are probably getting stung by bald faced hornets if the sting is worse and longer lasting than other stings you may have had. They usually have nests at waist level or below and are highly aggressive. They have one of the top 10 most painful stings of all insects on the planet and when I was stung the area swelled and was sore for a day or so. Interestingly, I looked up africanised honey bees and apparently they don’t have any more potent of a sting than regular honey bees. Bald faced hornets are black and white btw (white heads and butts with black bodies) and their nests look like fat ice cream cones made of smooth mud that can be the size of a softball to larger than a watermelon. As they say in Monty Python, “Run awaaaay!!”

  3. The elk hooves event had a Stephen King feel that was more memorable without a photo. Just hoping nothing Stephen Kingy happens!

  4. Oh gosh I just read your next entry and saw the bee stings on your knees. Ugh. These bees are apparently from “away”. You are getting closer to the border???

  5. While I very much enjoy the pictures you post I also love hearing the stories behind them. You are right about the digital age. We take pictures of our food, our favorite toothbrush, or maybe our hair do. It’s as if we no longer live in that moment, but rather have to create it on camera for others. I feel like we sometimes can miss out on experiencing fully that moment we are in. That said, I can’t understand why you didn’t post a picture of your 2 bee stings lol. No, truly I love the story telling and although the pictures do well to enhance your blog, I would enjoy your writing and stories just as much without them. I love that you related talking to Katana like Tom Hanks talking to Wilson. But of course Katana can totally understand you. You would be surprised at how much dogs can understand and how peceptive they are to our feelings, gestures, and body language. Even if Katana is an “extra terrible listener ” ♡ Thank you for sharing your adventures with us. They are wonderful.

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