Tule Spring

— May 3, 2012

Blooming Cactus
Cactus in bloom. If you know what kind, please share it’s name with us. Photo by Ashley Fisher.
The day is sunny and windy. We sort out our selves and our gear after a night of sleeping and sliding downhill in the tent.

We detour for water after three miles to Mike Herrara’s water tank. So do a half dozen other hikers. Most of them started at the Kick Off event. Some just before it, and some right after. We figure the leading edge of the herd is passing us. We walk down to the house to thank Mike for the water, but he’s not there.

Back on the trail, we hike up hill for two miles and 600 feet of elevation gain. Sure feels like a lot more than that. We eat lunch below Mount Combs. Windy.

We descend. It gets hot. We settle down for our customary afternoon siesta.

My nap is interrupted by screeching. A bird, I think, and I try to go back to sleep.

Blaze is frantic. A snake is eating baby rabbits. No sleeping now. We get the play by play of a murder in progress. Blaze believes it’s the same snake she saw on the trail before our break. The mother rabbit is screaming and running at the snake to defend her kits, then she gives up. Blaze is trying to get the snake to leave. Then she reports the snake has rabbit fluff on its lips and looks pretty satisfied with itself. The question of the moment becomes whether snakes have lips. Natalie and I are indifferent. Blaze is aghast at our callousness. Snakes go to eat, too, I tell her.

This rattlesnake is alleged to have murdered and eaten baby rabbits. Photo by Ashley Fisher.
Snakes Gotta Eat Too
Oh, the indifference! But a snake’s gotta eat too. Photo by Ashley Fisher.

The rest of the day is mostly downhill eventually dropping about 2,000 feet in elevation to Tule Spring. We set up camp. Three hikers walk in to get water. We invite them to camp but they want to put in another five miles. It’s dusk. Doesn’t sound like fun to me. They seem to be in a hurry to get to Paradise Cafe. There are milkshakes there, they tell us.

PCT Day 16: 13 miles hiked. Camped at Tule Spring.

Click here to read Blaze’s account, Witness to a Murder

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