When they tell you the walk through the Mojave desert along the aqueduct will be hot and windy, don’t believe them 🙂 We are trying to sit outside right now but it’s freezing! It’s windy all right but the heat will only arrive on Wednesday. So night hiking is not necessary!
Last night our bush camp was definitely sheltered from the wind but it started raining and continued throughout the night (then it stopped and just dropped from the bushes). First rain of the trip! The inside of my tent was dry but packing up a soaked tent and groundsheet is never fun!
Andreas left early, Tuna shortly before me. We all found rides around the Hughes Fire closure which is completely closed right now for about 25 miles of the PCT. As always, I was lucky. While there were many cars going west into LA for work, not too many came the other direction. A few went by, then a Honda (!) came back to me and Deborah asked whether I was by myself, whether I had a way to protect myself (bear spray etc), and to definitely get into the car and she would take me where I needed to go.
She is a LA County sheriff and just got done with work. She was too worried about me to let me hike the last 6 miles to Hiker Town and instead took me straight here (most hikers got dropped here; it’s harder for cars to go back into the mountains and drop you there). She made sure to give me pepper spray before we parted and even though I asked multiple times whether I was taking her out of her way, she didn’t want to hear it and probably would have driven me to Kennedy Meadows if needed!
She told me many a story about her work (because I asked) and I can honestly say I could never do this! Dead bodies, drugs and overdoses, car accidents etc. Maybe that made her worry about me so much …
At Hiker Town, I was lucky to get one of their “cabins”. For $10, you have a bed, there’s a hot outdoor shower (though who wants to take their clothes off outside right now!!!), a common area where you can charge electronics, and of course Magda. She scurries around constantly, has made burritos and coffee (and promised pancakes for the morning), gave us dessert, dropped sheets and just takes care of everyone.
Hiker Town looks like a western village with small houses in themes, such as my Captains Cabin, the bank, etc.
The nearby store picks you up a few minutes after you call and has a great selection as well as hot foods.
Tomorrow, about 4 miles from here, the infamous LA aqueduct walk begins. Mostly people like to walk it at night to avoid the heat of the Mojave desert. But we are freezing our bums off today so will definitely walk it during the day. There aren’t really any water sources (first one is 18 miles from here but it’s a cache so not guaranteed) or camp spots so we will see how this works out. Just wind!!!
A few more impressions around Antelope Valley and looking back at the dark clouds we came from!