Beautiful sunset along the road walk leading into Hikertown.

Today started with some relatively easy and slightly bland hiking, then got worse.  It started as a normal 12.9 mile morning on typical high desert canyon with a few more scrubby shade trees than normal.  The grade was pretty even all the way to the fire station where I stopped to make some burritos before hitting the road walk.

Nice morning hiking in the shadows with nice views.

A worn out shovel put back into service as a sign post.

The fascinating bright red bark of the Manzanita tree.

Yes, more road walks.  This one another fire closure.  I thought the road walk was just 16 miles, but it turns out that’s just to the intersection where you get a choice to go north or west.  The road walk ended up being a full 20 miles, so today was right at 33 miles.  Uggg.

The couple from Australia hiking in front of me on the way to the Rock Inn Restaurant.

This once used to be a large lake with a park next to it. Now it is completely dry.

I frequently would take accidental pictures while putting my camera back into my pocket. This one was interesting enough to save.

The good part is that 6 miles in there is a good restaurant to eat at and a convenience store if needed.  I ate with a couple from Australia that I met just before the fire station.  I did not leave the restaurant until 3:30.  After the first three miles or so after the restaurant, it turns to park land again, so you could stealth camp if you wanted to.  It was still early so I wanted to keep going.  I was pretty sure I could not make Hikertown hostel before dark, but I knew it would be close.  After eight miles from the restaurant it was all private property again and posted signs all over the place.  At that point I had gone past the point of no return.

At the 16 mile intersection, I could go left to the trail early, or go straight and hit Hikertown and be only a tenth from the trail.  I elected for Hikertown because it looked shorter there than the trail to the left and.

The sun was starting to set but I still had light.  I made the last turn with only one mile to go and the sun was behind the mountains now, but I had enough light to hike without a headlamp.  I made it to Hikertown at about 8:30 and boy was I beat.  I got a trailer to sleep in and a shower and made some rice to eat.

Hikertown is the most interesting place to visit. It’s a peculiar mix of discarded buildings, trailers, and campers. The permanent structures all have a theme to them to mimic a small western town.

The next section of trail is more roads then the Los Angeles aqueduct.  It’s a long straight hike with no shade and nowhere to camp.  I’d like to do it in one shot tomorrow, but know I won’t be able to leave too early.  But I’m still racing an upcoming heat wave, so I can’t take a day off just yet.  I might be hiking more at night, just not tonight.  [Post hike:  I found out that Robin left here about three hours before I arrived  This is the closest I ever got to him after losing my sunglasses.]