Friday, May 16, 2014

Day 42 - A day of (mostly) rest

Well ok, I had to do grocery shopping and online bill management kinds of things but mostly I had an easy day.  I also mailed my worn out shoes back to Angela who apparently has some idea for an art piece... oh these creative types :-)

Tomorrow begins a section of trail I have been dreading since I was out here two years ago, except now the situation is even more dire. We are having to hike big miles between water sources because there just aren't that many out there. Two springs in the first two days (one at the end of each long day) and then the last two days we have to hike, depending on who you believe, 31 to 40 miles carrying water for the whole stretch. Yikes! Fortunately there is a cooling trend so I won't require as much water to stay hydrated but still, I may have to carry upwards of 8 liters those last two days. Ouch!!!

So the next 4-5 days will be a challenge but I'm sure we will get through it. Also if I remember correctly there isn't much cell service out there either so while I'll be writing I might not be able to send the missives off into cyberspace. Have no fear! My spot will let you know all is well and when I get service I'll send them off, hopefully in the correct order this time...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Day 41 - Best Western Tehachapi

A short day, thankfully as it was super hot out there. By hot I'm thinking 80 by 11 am when we got to Hwy 58. It was only an 8 mile walk but I'm glad I didn't have to do more. I'd say it's in the high 80's here in town but since I'm sitting in my room right next to the AC, I'm good to go. 

The walk was nice with some flowers to smell along the way but mostly it was windmills, hills and trail. The good news?There was no wind so I was able to deploy my umbrella by 7:30...the earliest deployment yet. 

This was on the switchbacks down to the highway. So was this...

I think it's cool that someone hauled this way up the mountain just so someone else has a nice spot to sit along the way. 

Here we are, packs lined up waiting for Tortise the driver to pick us up and take us to town. 

Which ones have 566 miles on them?
I'm so happy to have new shoes...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Day 40 - Oak Creek

A 16 mile day that ended with us at Oak Creek where we will camp for the night. The water in the creek would be ok if I was dying, but not before. It was nearly stagnant, green with a tinge of orange. Fortunately someone has stocked a bunch of water at the road crossing so the gals brought me a gallon when they went to get some for themselves. Phew!

We are back in windmill territory. Here is a very large tree next to the machines. 
I also came across a tiger tank (brand name) with an attached shower. Not working but it sure would have been nice. I'd like to know how it got there and what it was used for.   
Another sweet surprise was a trail magic water cache, thanks to Daniel and Larry. Right out in the middle of nowhere. 

For writing in...

Finally, though my iPhone doesn't do them justice I'll show some of the wild flowers we saw today. The smell of fields of flowers was striking. 

Day 38 - Mile 525

Dirty Girl is back in the fold and we left Hiker Town at 5:30 pm with the intent of walking a few of the 18 miles needed to get to the next water source. The cool thing about the hiking this evening is that we were walking along the aquaduct the whole way. First as an open waterway...
Then in a big ole pipe half buried in the sand....

It goes for an long way this pipe does. 
Eventually we started to move into a Joshua Tree forest, just when the light was getting good. 
And finally we pulled off the road just as dark was descending. Up went the tents and we are hunkered down after walking six miles. Only 12 tomorrow till water. One last image before sleep. 

Day 39 - Tylerhorse Canyon

Mile 541 - Another long day of mostly road walking,
though early in the day I was able to enjoy looking at all the old trailers and abandoned houses there are out here in the desert. I wanted to go check out the desert homes but there is no time for that kind of enjoyable archeology. I can't help wonder about the people who tried to live here and whether or not their dreams were fulfilled or dashed. Trees planted where none should be yet there's nothing left of the homes but a shell and a memory. Interesting stories they could tell. 

Starting about 11 we began moving into gigantic windmill territory. Ginormous might even be a better word. The sound they make is just like a jet plane in the sky, incessant and whiny. I couldn't make an accurate guess as to how many there were but my impression would be a couple of hundred strong. Lots. 
Finally we left the roads and for the last 3 miles of the 18 mile day we were on actual trail. Eventually we even left the machines behind! We had to climb at the end of the day but we came to an actual creek here in Tylerhorse Canyon and were able to get water from a natural source for a change. I still treat it but it's nice to be able to listen to water while laying in bed. 
Just a human interest image. The gals with their lightweight tent they don't like. They are having their old and trusty tent sent for the Sierras.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Day 37 - Hiker Town

Today was a tough hiking day, even though we figure it was only about 14 miles. Road walking has some benefits, chiefly being able to see how people individualize things in their homes and yards. Since I can't snoop inside I just enjoy the parts close to the road. Here are a couple of mailboxes...

Once we left habitation it quickly just became a hard surface slog which really took a toll on my feet and legs. 

Nothing dramatic but just really uncomfortable, until we got here and I put my pack down. Ahhhhh...

Here is an interesting place. I don't know the name of the people who own the property but the caretaker's name is Bob and he manages this place as well as working on the water faucet and caches up at Cottonwood Creek...18 miles away and the first water after this place. 

 Anyway there is a main house and a couple of other residences but us hikers can rent these little themed sheds for the night. For $10 I get to stay in the Garden Shed...
take a shower and wash my clothes.  Tidy Camper is in the Captians Quarters...
In addition there is the
Doctors office
Feed store
And Cantina. 
There are more but this gives you the idea. This guy loves his sheds. Funny. 

Oh and one last thing. Since we weren't on the trail today when it crossed over to the 500 mark I made a little road marker to commemorate the new number... I went with the road motif.