Day 8 - Cinco de Mayo Fiesta and other Surprises

It felt like I slept in this morning, most of the hikers had left camp when I rolled onto the trail at around 8 am.

my first surprise of the day was this beautiful snake, whom I asked politely but somewhat impatiently if it would share the trail. 

Whoa nelly! 

Whoa nelly! 

It appeared to not be venomous due to the shape of its head. Pit vipers typically have heart shaped heads and this one's was more of an oval. 

Ssssssssss...cinco de mayo?

Ssssssssss...cinco de mayo?

Such a pretty pattern. 

Such a pretty pattern. 

I hiked on and found some wild roses whose scent transported me back in time.

I used to find these along gravel roads in Iowa on my way to band practice. 

I used to find these along gravel roads in Iowa on my way to band practice. 

The views were gorgeous. 

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And I saw flowers of every color of the rainbow. 

The smell of these reminded me of the taste of honeysuckle nectar and of the first time my friend, Marie, showed me how to extract it from the flower.

The smell of these reminded me of the taste of honeysuckle nectar and of the first time my friend, Marie, showed me how to extract it from the flower.

I stumbled upon a Cinco de Mayo celebration just off the trail and enjoyed food, fellowship, and a friendly sack race competition at Mike Herrera's house, a 100 yards from the trail.

Signs leading to his place

Signs leading to his place

Sky Ranch sanctuary he calls it. 

Sky Ranch sanctuary he calls it. 

There were a bunch of hikers there, including my friend St. Croix who I summitted Katahdin with in 2013.

He has a bunkhouse for hikers and water tanks near the trail to keep us hydrated. He was kind, humble, humorous, and boy could his wife cook! 

He has a bunkhouse for hikers and water tanks near the trail to keep us hydrated. He was kind, humble, humorous, and boy could his wife cook! 

After lunch and a brief siesta, I hiked on and eventually settled in along the floor of a valley, insulated from the wind that was chilling me along the ridge line. 

For dinner, I experimented with some new cooking technology. 

And it worked pretty darn well! 

Pot cozy working its magic

Pot cozy working its magic

Creamy and delicious, a little mushy towards the bottom of the pot though. 

Creamy and delicious, a little mushy towards the bottom of the pot though. 

It was a day of surprises, fond memories, and a full stomach.

Viva Cinco de Mayo! 

<3 Will