Pct day 51

July 11

Mile 681 – 694

The sound of the flowing water made me sleep in. Or just laziness but I’m sticking with the water. Anyway, no big deal because I was going to be at Kennedy Meadows soon. My parents would be driving out to meet me, as soon as they got the disappearing box from UPS. If it ever re-appeared. 

I caught up with Pennsylvania at Fox Mill Springs. He showed me a video of a large rattlesnake he’d seen that morning. He says he sees rattlers every day. I’ve seen one tiny one once. Am I walking by rattlesnakes all the time without realizing it? 

Fox Mill Springs was another healthy little stream of water. What a relief to see nice water again. I guess I really am through the worst of the dry part. 

The sky was filling with clouds of growing grayness. Was that actual rain? Wait, was that thunder? Did I just see lightning? 

I ran into a southbound hiker, a Japanese guy named Taichi. He saw the lucky charm on my backpack. “Is that from Japan?”

“Yes! From Shikoku!”


Taichi had also hiked the Henro Trail in Shikoku, the same route I cycled in April. (For once, I managed to get to a trail before someone made a movie about it.)

Walking under cloudy skies is so much more pleasant than the soul-sapping heat. I couldn’t bring myself to believe that actual rain would fall out of the sky. Even when gusts of wind brought the scent of rain. Which always reminds me of a dusty parking lot. Drops fell, bigger and bigger. Like most Californians, I don’t have the sense to put on a raincoat. We just wander around in a daze, getting wet and sniffing the rain.

I found Pennsylvania setting up camp at Manter Creek. I propose the name should be changed to Anter Creek, or maybe just Antland. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen so many ants. 

It was still light and there was plenty of time to walk to Kennedy. The only thing giving me pause was the ominous black cloud of foreboding in the distance. It hovered over the path ahead, bulging with dark forces. A harbinger of things to come? Am I really ready for the Sierras?  I may have survived the desert, but that was just walking in the sun. Probably the Sierras will be all storms and bears and snow. 

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