It was a very early start…I was hiking by headlamp just after 4:30am. The big bonus was watching the sunrise as I walked. This shot is the best of many that I took.
This is what it looked like about 30 minutes earlier.
The thin cloud cover helped keep temps in the low 80’s feeling pretty comfortable for a while.
A water cache about ten miles into this long waterless stretch (36 miles) was a welcome sight. It meant I could chug a liter on the spot and wouldn’t have to worry about rationing til perhaps later in the day.
I shaved the beard off the other day…going on 4 weeks is more than enough!
20 miles in trail angle Jim had his rig set up with plenty of sodas, beer and water to go around. It was Perfect timing to take a siesta during the hottest part of the day (1-3:30). Needless to say there would be no need to ration water today!
Folks were marking themselves comfortable
After 32 miles this cabin was home for the night.
(actually a camp spot just to the left).
And a gorgeous sunset to end the day just as it began.
I was up before sunrise this morning to get as many miles in before it started to heat up. In addition to comfort, the next water source was 19 miles away and hiked by in the cooler temps minimizes the amount of water that needs to be carried.
Another Milestone…not sure why this person made it at 600.1 ?
It was nice to finally leave the wind turbines and scrubby bushes behind for the giant ponderosas and sugar pines.
An interesting but a area with crazy boulders and lots of flowers.
After a 30 mile day with only two water sources I set up for a little Cowboy Camping.
I have an extra early departure planned as the next water is 32 miles away. My plan is to head out around 4:30am get 20mi done before noon. Take a long siesta and do the last 12 after the sun drops a little lower (3:30?). There may be a water cache along the way some local trail angels maintain but you can’t really plan on it.
A short post today….not a lot of pics to share.
There was a big exposed (to the sun) climb out of town and unfortunately I miscalculated my water needs. Normally, when I leave for the day it’s cool out for several hours and I know I won’t need more than a liter for the first 3+ hours. Today I hit the trail ~11:30 as I was finishing things up in town. Between the midday start, the warm exposed climb and the 17mi to the next water, my 2-liters was feeling rather inadequate. I didn’t run out but I was definitely nursing the last liter longer than I would have liked. Lesson learned!
I’ll pretty much stay anywhere that has a make your own waffle-station…thanks Best Western!
More windmills 🙂
(I’m camped under a set tonight as well)
Water at last! This was actually a great spring fed pipe with cold clear water you could hold your bottle under…it then collected in the algae filled trough. It was nice to not have to pick out green slime from the water!
Good night 🌙
A beautiful sunrise just before my 5:45am departure.
More beautiful high desert landscapes as we descend toward Tehachapi.
I find the whir of windmill farms relaxing. These giants are over 300′ tall !
Loco and Bronco cruising down one of the many smooth and well graded PCT descents.
Windmills as far as the eye can see.
We were greeted at the road crossing with some trail magic: cold sodas/beers and Dunkin Donuts.. Hiker Nirvana!
In case someone blindfolds your, spins you around and you get disoriented it’s nice to no which way to Canada 🙂
Crazy to think a short day is 17 miles. But it was a relaxed leisurely pace and the hiking was done by 1:15. The rest of the day was spent in the desert town of Tehachapi (one of the biggest towns we will be in for a long time…a Kmart). The Best Western where I stayed was inundated with Rockabillies descending into to town for a big weekend long event.
RIP Greg Allman (and Chris Cornell)
It was an early departure for one of the more interesting sections of trail.
Sunrise from Hiker Town.
At 5:30am I started a 17 mile stretch along the LA viaduct.
These are the foothills we climbed down from yesterday.
There were a lot of Joshua Trees along the route today. Kind of like a Dr. Seuss book.
Here are several hikers camped out on top of the Viaduct (water is under the concrete cap).
We were very fortunate to have one of the coolest days in a while…highs in the upper 60’s. This can be a Brutal section in the typical 90 degree heat. Some folks who live in this desolate area were nice enough to leave out some trail Magic!
As the viaduct section ended the wind farm section began.
Bronco and Loco enjoying lunch at the sunshade/ wind block.
Hiking through the wind farm.
After 17 mikes of flat viaduct / wind farm walking we started to gain some big elevation.
At the end of a long day and the top of the climb was more trail magic.
There was water, apples, cookies and they even had chairs set out to enjoy the sunset.
Today was considerably more comfortable …actually cold now and then when the wind kicked up!
Here are some clouds rolling over the ridge we were hiking across most of the day.
Mile 500 !
Hiking through a scrub oak section was rather unusual considering all the desert cactus and pine forests we have typically be traveling through
…and then a beautiful meadow.
All the super-size pine cones are impressive. This variety (Colter Pine?) are not only huge but have huge sharp-pointy barbs at the end of each petal.
After a 15 mile waterless stretch this was the next water supply…needless to say I skipped it for the following one a couple miles down trail. Dead bird water is a no-go regardless of how good my filter may be!
Loco an Bronco scooped some out as emergency water…not pretty!
Descending into the Mohave Desert.
Home for the night is Hiker Town…a well known Trail Angel’s on going project (a miniature faux western town).
A small cafe 5 miles away comes by every hour and picks hikers up in their van.
The cafe/convenience store filled with hungry hikers.
Sunset over Hiker Town
It was another early 4:45am wake up call to beat the heat. Luckily, today wasn’t quite the inferno yesterday was. A decent breeze and some light wispy clouds made things more bearable.
This was a random sign at the top of one of todays climbs. If you zoom in you can see my man Jorge I met the other day has won this race 3 times in a row. Amazing to he can run 50 trail miles in 6.5 hrs!
This is Terrie Anderson a famous trail angel who visited while I was taking a siesta at the fire station. She even gave me a commemorative 2017 PcT hiker bandana.
There are a lot of charred trees in the mix.
In 40 trail miles there were only two water sources: the fire station hose and this seep in the side of the mountain. Needless to say, it was a popular stop on a hot day.
A little engineering to collect the water into a useful stream.
The elevation profile today looked fairly modest but was deceiving…6000′ of climbing !
This is a screen shot from my guidebook app. Users can post comments about what they come across. I like this one about the final water source of the day (needless to say I skipped the water here.
Although not quite sunset the intermittent cloud cover made a huge difference in the heat today!
There was a lot going on today.
It started with a 4:45am wake up call to beat some of the heat.
This was just after sunrise while hiking out of the KOA Campground.
This is how we travel under the freeway…
It was pretty long and dark inside.
Then we meander through Vasquez Rocks State Park. I didn’t even realize the face-profile until after I took the pic.
This feature reminds me of Roxborough State Park in CO.
By 9am I was rolling into the town Agua Dulce…lots of hikers.
The town is home to a Hiker Heaven hosted by legendary trail angels (the Saufleys) for almost 20 years. Each tent has different services: phone charging, sewing repair, parcel shipping, etc
There must have been 50 hikers there.
The Tent city in the backyard. I just took a long mid-day siesta then headed back to the trail.
The Trail Angel house-dog likes napping among the cactus.
A gorgeous sunset was especially welcome because it was another smokin’ hot day. I left Hiker Heaven at 4pm and got cooked climbing up some exposed hillsides until 7 when the sun started to dip behind the mountains.
It kept getting better and…
I finally got to camp around 8:15 and was exhausted…mostly from the heat.
Only one word for today…HOT !
Things started off very pleasant with a beautiful sunrise.
Flowers were in full bloom lining the trail.
There was a great oasis at the
North Fork fire station with shade and picnic tables and $1 cold sodas. It was 10:45 when I arrived after 12 mikes and things were already starting to heat up. Those cold sodas tasted great.
Here are some hikers enjoying a siesta playing Yahtzee and eating Cheetos (a hiker favorite).
The next 8 miles was when it really started to heat up. There wasn’t a living thing over knee high where you could find shade (the whole area had burned several years ago). Luckily, my umbrella was there to the rescue. This is what I look like in 98 degree heat under the blazing sun. As they say, “you can’t spell suffering without an F-U-N”
I wish you could take a picture of the heat.
My raspberry-lemonade mix in my water tasted like hot tea 🙂
Thankfully, the worst of it only last about 2.5 hours before reaching the KOA Campground…paradise! There must have been 40+ hikers here.
Cold sodas, ice cream and a pool!
Around 7:00 look who rolled in…Locomotive and Bronco. They did a 30 mile day in the heat just for a cold soda and Ben and Jerrys.
It feels like I covered a lot of ground today both geographically as well as mentally. It seems like ages ago I left the funky little ski lodge this morning.
This is the sign at the ski lodge entrance. I hear they have a Facebook page if you want to check them out.
This is one of the signs that Dan our host put up to let hikers know they should stop by.
Another Milestone… 25+ miles per day they come pretty quick!
This was a fantastic late afternoon oasis…the backside of the Mill Creek wildland fire station.
Shade, water, picnic tables and power outlets. There must have been 10+ hikers there at one point.
The mountain desert view.
A great sunset from my campsite…
…and it gets better!
I even had phone signal in my tent 🙂