Before we started this hike, a lot of folks reminded us of the dangers of embarking on an expedition like this. I have heard it before every long hike. They say to take bear spray, ask if I am worried about bears, snakes, giardia, lymes disease, West Nile, dehydration, sun burn, cliffs, rocks, and rabid animals. I have learned to listen to the concerns, but also let them know that I can handle things okay. My rule is to simply not get myself into a situation I can't get out of.
A little known fact about hiking is that it is much more likely that a person will get injured while in a car on the way to the trailhead. Not much out here can compare to the dangers of moving at 75 miles per an hour in a large chunk of metal, surrounded by other vehicles doing the same. Nope, 2.5 miles per hour is pretty safe, biggest risk is probably a stress fracture. Like the one I received on the Appalachian Trail in 2004. The doctor said I had walked too much. Painfuul, but after two weeks and the help of family driving me to Maine, I was back on the trail.
But honestly, I think I should worry more about my family and friends in the other world. They have to drive everyday! They have stresses that I know little about, mortgages, car loans, and work! My biggest stress is staying healthy and eating enough to do that.
We did have an encounter with a rattlesnake today, first one on the trail. Lauren walked right past it, jumped just as she saw him, 4" from her right leg. I watched as his head followed her leg. This was not an agressive snake, he quickly retreated to the nearby shrubs. It was exciting and scary at the same time. Had she kicked the snake or hit him with her pole, it may have snapped at her. Glad we made it through!
We had a great day though. A little cooler than yesteerday, and the views of Mt Shasta have been spectacular. Though this section is a bit monotonous, it has proven to be better than people had warned us about. I think the worse sections of the PCT may still be better than the best of the AT. Life is good, and we feel alive!
Lauren even gave me a foot rub tonight, as my new shoes are so uncomfortable. Very sweet, how am I so lucky?