Monday, May 30, 2016

Windy camp at about mile 540.5 to Tehachapi Willow Springs road

Camped about a mile before Tylerhorse canyon where the next water source was located. The camp site was a bit windy, but my tent did well. 

Oh, and you might have noticed that this is my third tent of the trail. Not because any others failed (well, the second one didn't do too well in the snow one night), but because I wanted something that was reasonably light, but not as minimal as a tarp, and also could stand up to high winds and some rain, and also have room inside for my gear so I wouldn't have to leave it out at night to get wet or sandy or whatever. The pyramid tent has a one person net shelter inside to sleep in, and plent of room for my pack at night.

After getting water from the small creek at Tylerhorse, there was a sizable climb and then more windfarm crossing. 

There was a nice, unexpected water cache that also had a few apples and oranges. Unfortunately the area had a wildfire a few years ago so the formerly shady trail is now all in the sun. There was a small cabin up a hill that appeared to have a nice porch with shade, but several no trespassing signs discouraged further investigation. 

Ended the day at Tehachapi Willow Springs road where my girlfriend picked me up for a few days of pampering at home, probably the last visits home since I am getting further away each day now.

Video: Big fans make it windy here

Tent in the wind. I woke up in the middle of the night hearing another couple that had camped in the same area packing up after their tent had blown down in the wind.

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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Campsite next to covered aqueduct to Windy camp at about mile 540.5

Woke up at 5AM and was walking by 6 in an attempt to beat the heat on this section of trail. 
Passed a couple coolers or water that motor home campers left out for PCT hikers, talked with a father and son who were putting more water bottles in their hiker cooler, they were out for the weekend from LA riding their quads in the desert. 
Finished off the 10 miles to the next water source a bit before 11 and found a big tent set up by a crew from LA who go to Burning Man called OK NOT OK, and who wanted to find other uses for their gear. So they decided to set up a tent for PCT hikers and feed us and let us hang out, very nice people. 
After hanging out for most of the afternoon, I headed out towards the next water source, a bit less than seven miles away. I am camped about a mile short, it was getting dark and there is probably a big group at the water source area. 
Most of this afternoon's hike was through a wind farm, and yes, it was very windy, almost got stopped in my tracks a couple times by strong gusts.

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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Horse Camp campground to camp along covered aqueduct

Started the day at an old Horse camp that has seen enter days. I think at one time it was a nice camp with an outhouse and other amenities, but it now has a ton of blown down trees scattered around. There are still plenty of tent spaces, but it has seen better days. 

What it does have is a nice spring down a short but steep trail. Made the trip down this morning for water, it was flowing well. 

Hiked about ten miles to Hikertown, a trail angel/hostel along highway 138. Hung out in the shade during the early afternoon with a whole bunch of hikers, some of whom stayed at Hikertown for the night and some who headed out as the temperature dropped. 

I headed out with Sherpa and Dr. Doolittle around seven, and we hiked along a couple different aqueducts for about seven miles, setting up camp in the dark next to the concrete covered aqueduct.

Sherpa and Dr. Doolittle heading for the aqueduct.

Alongside the open aqueduct.
Walk on top of the enclosed portion of the aqueduct.

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Upper Shake Campground to Horse Camp campground

Started this morning at Upper Shake campground, about a half mile from the PCT. Ended the day at Horse Camp campground, on a hilltop looking down on the Mojave desert, which I'll be crossing soon. 

In between the trail passed through pines and oaks and chaparral and grassy hilltops. Very varied scenery today. It's a shame that it seems like most of the hikers are passing this section because I think it's a great section of trail. 

Stopped at Sawmill campground and hiked up to the top of a hill about half a mile to find the water source, which was a rain catching/caching device called a Guzzler. Had to crawl in the dirt to get to the water, but it was there. 
The other water source today was a concrete tank that we had to use a string and a plastic jar to get water out of, since the only access was through an opening on the top of the tank, and the water was about ten feet down. 
Oh, also, passed the 500 trail mile mark today!

Horse Camp Campground has a great location, but has been visited by fires, and many of the trees have fallen down, so you get to fid whatever spots among them. The water source is down in a ravine. 

This is a Guzzler. It collects rainwater that falls on its roof and stores is in a cistern. It's open on the side so wildlife can use the water, it's typical to see plenty of animal tracks in the dirt.

Ah, the penalty for walking all these miles.
And the rewards.

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