Mile 508 to 534.88

We woke up in a cloud again, but this time we also had howling wind to welcome us back to the land of the living. On top of that, I set up my tent near a dead tree and heard it creeking all night.  I was worried it would fall on me. Luckily, it didn’t. When I did sleep, I was woken a number of times when the high winds caused the side of the tent to slam into my head. Fun times.

I packed up quickly and saw B&V ready as well. There was no movement from Bedazzled’s tent. I went over and woke her up. It was already 5:04, and we had all agreed to leave at 5:00. She never sets an alarm, however, and counts on hearing us moving around our tents to wake her up… Next, I went over to Viper and Fun Dip’s tent.  They said they hadn’t slept at all and would catch up with us at Hikertown.

I went back to Bedazzled’s tent and told her she could hike with the sisters or catch up with us. We couldn’t wait at the campsite because it was too cold, wet, and windy for us. She stammered that she would hike with us. We hiked out and waited for her down the trail. Luckily, this gave me some time to take photos in the predawn light.

Once Bedazzled arrived, we started the 10 miles we had left to Hikertown.

Hikertown is this random and weird place that looks like the set of an old western movie complete with saloon, bank, and sherif.

You can camp or rent out one of the buildings, which are little hotel rooms. We had no interest in the place, but the local cafe ran shuttles to and from there so we looked around a bit and then hopped in the next shuttle. We got breakfast burritos and some snacks and chilled out. The sisters came about an hour later and we had a happy reunion.

Fun Dip’s dirty legs.

Around 12:30, we got the shuttle back to Hikertown. Since the temperature was in the 70s and there was a breeze, we decided to start the next section, which is about 50 miles with long water carries and the dreaded L.A. Aqueduct. Normally, you need to night hike this section because the temperatures are too high and it is difficult to carry enough water. There are 3 sections, a 17 mile waterless stretch, then a 5 mile, and finally a 28 mile stretch. This can be extremely brutal when the temperature are in the 90s or higher. The only saving grace is that the section is flat.  However, the trail is on a dirt road which is horrible on the feet since you are continuously putting pressure on the same parts of your feet over and over again.

We left Hikertown in the dust and soon were walking beside the aqueduct.

After a short while, it turned into a tunnel and we were briefly walking on water.

Since the walking and scenery was pretty repetative, we played the game 20 Questions.

After about 8 miles we took a lunch break under a Joshua Tree and spread out our wet quilts and tents to dry. Little did we know that there were these dried up little sticker plants that deposited tiny hair like needles into our gear and flesh. We were not happy.

In a momentary lapse of judgement a few days ago, I told Burnout a story about when I was in Japan and Kanchou, which is a game that little kids play. It involves folding the fingers of both your hands together, extending your pointer fingers and then ramming them up an unsuspecting victim’s rear end. Well, let’s just say Burnout executed a Kanchou on me as I bent over to take a picutre. I give it a 7/10. I got him back when he was stretching during the lunch break. We are very mature.

I was having foot pain throughout the first -half of the day, but after our break, I didn’t really have any more pain than normal, which was a nice improvement. Fun Dip’s feet were also doing better today.

It was fun having some new people to hike with, and I enjoyed chatting with both  Viper and Fun Dip. They are both pretty cool girls thay also do a lot of climbing and mountaineering, which sounds like a lot of fun. I hope I can try both after this trip.

As daylight started to fade, we walked into a wind farm with giant turbines turning over head. From a distance, they looked small, but up close they are pretty massive.

The setting sun added a nice warm glow to the scene as we finishes up the final mile to our campsite in the middle of the wind farm. There were quiet a few other groups here, but we found a nice place for all of us to setup. Hopefully it’s not too windy tonight.

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