Distance: 4 miles
Distance for the day: 17 miles
Weather: some cloud; v windy; dust storms
A relaxing day was had at Hikertown. It revived me no end, even though I didn't get a nap and it was so nice to leave wearing a light blue, fresh-smelling shirt, rather than a mud coloured one. Bet that won't last long!
It was also nice to find upon leaving the huge garage in which we'd been sitting all afternoon (kitted out as an apartment, not full of cars!) that it had partly clouded over and that it wasn't too hot at all. If the forecast for tomorrow is right, then we are hugely lucky, as it's predicted to be in the low-to-mid-twenties tomorrow, rather than a more seasonal mid-to-high-thirties. It is windy mind. The Mojave desert is full of windfarms, and they're here for a reason.
A local chap stopped us for a chat as we wandered down the road towards the Los Angeles Aqueduct, the line of which we will be following. On hearing which section we are walking he commented that aside from the Sierras, we had chosen the ugliest part of the whole trail - a comment made as he gestured out at the flatness we were about to cross. I would disagree. To me it's a fascinating landscape, with a massive swathe of flat desert bounded by mountains.
We didn't experience much of the desert today, as after 4 miles we got to an area which offered a bit of shelter from the wind and decided to call it a day. It's generally acknowledged to be folly to try to pitch a tent on this section (not that many people pitch tents anyway; the majority cowbow camp), but we thought we'd give it a go. We wouldn't hesitate to pitch Vera or Susie in this wind - although admittedly we wouldn't usually find ourselves on sand.
Fortunately (if you ignore the environmental viewpoint), there's a bit of a dumping area not far from where we're pitched and we managed to aquire some lumps of concrete to anchor the pegs. Who knows whether they'll hold. I wouldn't be surprised if we find ourselves decamping sometime during the night.
Tomorrow's going to be a bit of a departure from the going to date. Over the next 14 miles there is almost no ascent. Flatter than a flat thing.
(Incidentally, if anyone wants to see the context of where we're walking on a map, then Google 'Halfmile PCT'. The maps are free to download and we're currently on Page 9 of California Section E.)
(The photo: that's the Los Angeles Aqueduct, although we only followed the open, canalesque section for a mile. We're now following a pipeline)
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