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.
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 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.
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.]
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