Day 25: Hikertown to CS550 (32.2 miles - 549.8)
Updated: Aug 22, 2019
June 1, 2016 - Woke up a little earlier than planned as I had to pee around 1:45am. Since it was close enough I decided to pack and head to the trail. I was back at it by 2:15am in pitch black. Made a few wrong turns but was able to navigate in the right direction with my maps and app.
Basically for 14 miles I just followed the LA Aqueduct towards a windmill farm. The nice thing about doing it in the dark is there wasn’t much to see except for empty desert.
About an hour into the hike I watched a very orange crescent moon rise and slowly head upwards only to disappear as the sun rose. Also the stars were unbelievable to see, so many. Wish I had a nice enough camera to capture it all. I might had been able to do the hike with no headlamp but thought it would probably be safer to have it on which was a good thing as I came across a few scorpions, first ones I had seen in the desert. Also came across lots of jumping mice.
Once I left Hikertown I was all by myself for the longest time but after awhile I started to see a dim light far off ahead of me. To be honest I couldn’t tell how far it was if it was another hiker but I thought it had to be. The closer I got the more I could tell it was another hike so that competitive part of me picked up the pace to catch them. Right AS it was starting to get light I caught up to the hiker and chatted for a few then was off.
As I got closer to the first water source since Hikertown I started to run into other hikers. Most people leave Hikertown in the late evening then camp halfway to the water in the desert. Some were still asleep when I past and other were just starting to wake up.
Made the 17 miles to the first water stop right in the middle of the windmill farm. The water came from the aqueduct which was the last I saw of it as I headed towards the end of the windmill farm. It was kind of cool walking in that area, these huge machines that were surrounded by some Joshua Trees.
The last few miles before the long break were all uphill which was kind of a nice change as those first 17 were all flat but it was starting to get warm. I kind of picked up the pace just so I could get to my lunch stop for the day and get a nap in.
The second water stop for the day was my long lunch break, 24 miles in. I arrived at the creek just before 10am, so I had been up for 8 hours already. The plan was to eat and rest until later in the afternoon once things started to cool off. I was there with about 10 other people. We all hung out under this big oak tree. Since we were all there so long the shade kept shifting so we did as well.
After resting up for 5.5 hours I figured it was time to move on. It didn’t seem too hot and the map didn’t show any huge climbs, however most of it was uphill.
The hike wasn’t too bad and was almost done for the day when I across some trail magic of water and apples. Since I had carried out 5 liters of water I was good, I needed that much because there would be no more water sources till tomorrow. I never like to take water from the caches as I always try to carry enough to make it to reliable sources, I’ll leave the water caches to those that really need it.
Right as I was finishing up hiking for the day it appeared thunderstorms were starting to develop. So I tried to find a nice campsite off trail that’s completely blocked the wind. There were no defined campsites in the area so had to walk off trail a little to find a flat/level site for my tent. Hoping no storm tonight.