I woke up at 6, but the first shuttle to the store did not leave until 7, so I started packing and filling water bottles to get ready. Everything was ready to go by seven. So after hopping to the store to get a breakfast burrito and a few snacks, which included two bottles of squirt, I was headed out by eight. I don’t know why I love grapefruit sods so much, but I do.
Buying the soda was another tactic just to get another bottle since there is a hot 24 mile water carry coming up and I needed one more bottle.
The smart thing to do would have been lounge around Hiker Town all morning and afternoon and set out at 5 or 6 PM. But I was itching to get an early start and then find some shade to hunker down for siesta.
The trail started along a field for a mile, then the open aqueduct for Los Angeles for about a mile, then the aqueduct turned into a giant pipe and headed straight uphill for about three miles. Most hikers actually walk on top of the riveted pipe. You can see mineral deposits all over the joints that leak and a million welded patches. Then it turned into a concrete covered channel for a million miles. Well, maybe not a million, but well over ten. It was easy hiking on the concrete lid and would have been easy by moonlight.
Even though I set out at 8 o’clock, the heat of the day was already present. I decided to wear the shorts since it would essentially be a road walk with very few weeds and I wanted to be cool. A nice breeze and the umbrella kept things comfy until about noon, when the breeze died down quite a bit. I found one of these crazy cactus trees [Joshua trees] to get some shade under, but had to move several times as the sun shifted. Without the breeze, it was quite hot. I also noticed when I set out again, that my legs were slightly sunburned so I lathered them up with sunscreen.
I ate and stayed put until 4:30 when I decided I had enough and set out into the heat. It wasn’t too bad and the aqueduct gave way to a wind farm. Now it was the wind farms turn to go on forever. You can see them easily way off into the distance, but they never seem to get any closer. It was well over an hour before I felt that I was actually getting nearer. There must have been three hundred of them and the field never ended.
It was well after dark before I finally passed the last one and was officially back into the hills again. I found a decent campsite two miles from the only water source for the next two days and still within earshot of the wind farm. Those things make a lot more noise than you would think. It sounds like I’m near a highway.
I only have 26 miles to Tehachapi and don’t want to get there until Sunday, so even though hiking at night in the cool breeze is fantastic, there’s no reason to hike late into the night. I will get up not too early but be out by six and do ten in the am and ten in the PM, to put me only six miles from town. That would be good, as I have a lot to do while in town. I am planning on taking Monday off since it is the peak of the heatwave.