Started: Splinter’s Cabin (298.5)
Ended: Deep Creek (313.5)
Total: 15.0 Miles
Achievements: 300 Miles, Rattlesnake Staredown (2), Primary Amoebic Meningoencewphalitis Can’t Hurt You When You Are Already Out of Your Mind
Staying in the $15 a night condo with a hot tub was a fine choice. The patio furniture on the deck was covered in ice. I really did not want to sleep in that.
While it is nice to sleep in a bed and be warm, it is not the best way to get miles done. Our ride was able to get us to the trail by 9:30, so we had a late start.
While I have discussed Fishtank and Little John, I have never mentioned the other two hiking with us, Chef and Feinschmeckei. The reason is simple, I could not spell Feinschmeckei. It is cool trail name. It means someone who likes the finer things in life.
They are married couple hiking together. They were one of the reasons Fishtank and I hiked separate after Julian, because Chef and Feinschmeckei make me miss my wife.
As we started at 298.5, it did not take long to get to the 300 mile marker. However, in that short period of time, we nearly had two major injuries. I was point and Little John was right behind me. We we’re walking on a steep ridge and there were large bushes with branches overlapping the trail. I passed through without incident (for a change), but Little John lost his footing. He was struggling to recover, so I turned around and bent over to help him back up. While bending over, I watched one of my Smart Water bottles bounce down the hill.
I apologise for breaking a Leave No Trace principal, but it was not possible to get it. It is also the reason why we use Smart Water bottles. Distributing your water means if something happens to one bottle, you still have water.
Once we cleared out, we tried to find a high point so that we could warn the others. They did not come right away. It turnes out that Chef tripped and heard something pop in her foot. She muscled through to the 300 mile marker so we could take pictures.
She told us to not wait for her, so Fishtank, Little John and I continued.
Our second milestone was the Hot Springs. There is plenty of strange things to see there. The water is hot and comforting, but there are some risks. Most hot, sweaty, completely unsanitary PCT hikers take a dip there. That and many just swim naked.
The PCT Water Report states that there is a brain eating amoeba in the water as well. Normally I would catch something like that, but the warning that you could die a slow and painful death was in the small print, not the normal flashing red on a yellow background like all the other things that could kill me on the trail. So, yeah, I relaxed in the hot springs. It was awesome.
The three of us hiked most of the day wondering what happened to Chef. Did they leave the trail? Did they continue? As we were in a canyon, we had no reception.
We eventually left the canyon and had reception again. We called and texted. We didn’t get a reply, and that was a good sign.
A couple of miles before we stopped, once again I was surprised by a rattle snake on the trail obscured by a rock. This one was the largest yet. It hissed, but I quickly flicked it with my trekking pole, flipping it in the air.
We reached a good campsite with water about 5:30. As we started to set up camp, Chef texted us. They were right behind us. She hiked 15 miles on a swollen foot. Together we ate and joked before bed.
Tomorrow, we need to do some miles. We don’t want to run out of food again.