Day 16, Deer Spring 185.6 to Water Faucet 205.7

My early nightfall trail bed last night wasn’t very level so I didn’t get a good rest. It always strikes me how long the night time hours are when out in the woods. I would wake up every so often and see the moon at different positions in the trees and wonder what the time was. I was packed up by 6:00 and didn’t wake Moses. Today should be a good day I said to myself, it’s all downhill!

As it turned out 19 miles of it!! I started out the day without the knee brace because it felt pretty good but soon enough back on it went, more so just because I know Kelly would be telling me to put it on (wouldn’t you). It was hot and midday sun leaves very few spots of shade. Literally at 12:00 noon on flat ground you would need at least a 20 ft tall tree to cast enough shade, but those were being laft behind. There were over a dozen hikers today all leapfrogging at different places and taking breaks where shade was available.

As I passed a huge boulder something didn’t look right so I paused and looked back. It was a large Diamond Back rattle snake. I’d say he was 3ft long and was laying parallel to the trail, in the shade with his head facing up trail just 3ft away. I knew a couple was behind me so I waited a minute to let them know he was there. Before I could get a picture he was gone under the rock but not until sounding his distaste for us. I think this was the first rattler sound I’d heard in real time, it was pretty cool. Snakes are fascinating, but yes I’ll keep my distance if I can see them first!

Further down the trail I made it past a wasp nest in an old downed tree. Again I let the hiker about 30yards behind me know about them. I would pass a second wasp area further down the trail unscathed. This one however needed me to pick up my pace for a good 30 yards and nowhere else to go but on the trail, downhill on the side of a hill. I’m glad they didn’t attack and that I didn’t fall flat on my face. These wasps are fat black ones and show no fear. I tried to find exactly what they are online but didn’t see any that fit the description. Wasp/Bee/Hornet I’m not sure but aggressive.

A flower arrangement for Kelly ❤️

This day was a long waterless downhill stretch to this water fountain. Most everyone coming down today camped out here. I cowboy camped about 5ft away from the fountain next to that boulder. Tonight was clear, bats were flying about and mice chasing/jumping around after one another 2ft from me.

The view from my accommodations for the night. Hikers refilling water bottles. The gentleman with his back to me is Yesman, he owns a clothing company in California. I keep forgetting to ask how he got his trail name.

I arrived to this faucet at 6:09pm pretty much a 12hr day with a few breaks mixed in. On the way down today I was thinking about what I can do to lighten up my pack. I recall reading an article that stated going downhill multiplies your body weight by 7x for males and 8.5x for females at the knee joint alone! This day with my body,gear,water and food weight I was in the neighborhood of about 220lbs. I can’t imagine 1400+lbs per step for 19 miles, wow!

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