I slept great and was on the trail by 615. The weather was warm last night so it was little chore to roll out early.
I crossed white water creek once and then the climb began. I spent a good part of the morning climbing out of the canyon only to drop into another and follow mission creek north west.
The hiking along this creek was difficult. The canyon is clearing a victim of frequent floods. As a result the trail is very difficult to follow and the creek path changes frequently. I think I crossed the creek better than 15 times.
I frequently lost the trail but knew the trail followed the creek up the canyon for many miles, so I would trudge along as best I could. I generally found the trail after 5 to 10 minutes of walking. On one particular trail blaze off the trail I ran across day or two ok mountain lion tracks. This will get your attention.
In another instance of loosing the trail I hiked down a dry wash and climbed up the eroded bank next to a downed tree. As I hopped over the tree I heard the unmistakable rattle of a rattle snakes tail. I froze and looked left to discover a nice healthy 4 foot rattle snake about 8 feet away. He want coiled as of yet but was definitely in a more aggressive position. I slowly backed away and his rattling intensified. When I was about a dozen feet away I snapped a picture of him. See below.
The rest of the day was uneventful aside from the heat. The weather has been rather intense.
After hiking 15 miles and coming to the last creek crossing/water source for 6 miles I made camp on the first switchback out of the canyon. It was only 330 but I was dead tired and done for the day. Plus I knew the next 8 miles of trail ascended from 6000 feet to 8500 feet. Better to save that for the cooler temperatures of morning.
I made dinner and filtered some water. I was in my tent by 530. After sunset a hiker rolled into my camp. The first person I had seen all day. His name was Andy. He had thru hiked the PCT in 2014 and was revisiting several spots he enjoyed.
About 15 minutes later another hiker came into camp named E-train. It was pretty dark at this point. One thing I do know. Setting up camp in the dark isn’t much fun. We exchanged hellos but that was about.
I was asleep by 8.
GAAAAAAWD DAYUM! That is a big-ass rattler. Geeeepers. Gives me the willys!