AZT Day 46: Rattlesnake, Shooting Range, and Mountain Bikers

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Saturday, November 10
Miles: 23.7
Starting/ending: 688.5/712.2
Camp elevation: 5098 ft

Wake at 5:30. Coffee and ramen. Pack up. I slept well. Some vehicles are out and about already, near the Twin Tanks pond. I hot the trail ahead of David and Oklahoma. The trail is rolling and generally uphill. Small break, a few day hikers. Oklahoma catches up and passes. David catches up and passes. I fill 2L from a small cache.

Lunch break at a metal cattle trough with the others. I have chili lime tuna on tortillas with hot sauce, mayo and peanuts. Ten miles to Kentucky Camp – a historical adobe site that used to house gold miners – and our planned camp for the night. I lead. Lots of mountain bikers. Also lots of guns firing in all directions. Must be target shooting and hunting. We do not get shot. Success! It’s Saturday which explains why so many people are out and about. I chat with a few mountain bikers. Snack and break at the high point. Oklahoma and David catch up and pass me.

Two hunters are parked in the middle of the trail which is annoying, I go around. I catch up with and chat with Oklahoma and we walk to Kentucky Camp. He’s excited to cook lots of food in Patagonia. We chat with the Kentucky Camp caretakers for a few minutes, thinking David will catch up, but he doesn’t. We walk on and I nearly step on a snake! Yikes! Oh shit, it’s a rattlesnake! That would have been uncomfortable… The snake is just laying there, belly full, unmoving. Occasionally flicking it’s tongue. Whew close one.

At Kentucky Camp I fill a few liters of water. Headache. David shows up. We look for a camp spot and find a decent enough place to pitch our tents in some tall grass, in the open, just below Kentucky Camp. Brr it’s coming off quickly. I add water to my dinner – pea soup and wild Zora meat, plus hot chocolate, a CBD chocolate and natural calm. Into my tent early to start warm. I make sure sleep with my water filter tonight – it may get below freezing. Write and plan ahead. There’s a possible detour ahead on the way into Patagonia. I try to read but my hands are too cold. Brr. Sleep.

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