Tent site – hiker town
27.6 miles. 1361ft up. 3028ft down.
I don’t know why I was so tired but I went back to sleep about 9 and I slept like a log. I did hear the coyotes at one point howling away, but I quite like that sound.
I’m not sure if it rained in the night but everything was a bit damp so it may have been condensation, we were up at 6 and on our way at 6:30 while it was still dark, we wanted to get all the way to Hiker Town today before it got dark, over 27 miles. We could see the stars and the distant lights of Lancaster. It wasn’t cold at all and the sky was pretty clear. Our only climb of the day was 1000ft up straight away but it was easy. Morning miles are easy. It soon got light and we were on our way down to Tylerhorse Canyon. An important water source for nobos but dry by the time we got there.
After a tiny climb out of the canyon it was a gently downhill cruise through the wind farm to the start of the LA aqueduct. The turbines were eerily still, not a breath of wind. As we walked by them some of them started moving. Creepy! We discovered the heads were turning to face a different direction, they are operated remotely I assume, but it was like someone was watching us walk through and bringing the turbine to life as we walked by!
After 10 miles we came to the start of the flat paved aqueduct, there is a water barrel here maintained by Hiker Town. I stopped to wait for Catwater and three guys with guns come by. A weird place to go shooting, amongst the wind turbines…
We collected water from the barrel and set off for the 17 miles of flat, unsheltered, concrete trail. It’s easy walking, and I was looking for seeing what I had missed when I did this section at night last year. Well the answer is I missed nothing. Absolutely nothing. It’s easy walking but it’s so boring because it looks exactly the same for miles and miles.
We see a couple of guys on dirt bikes who pull over to chat to us, they invite us into their camp which is about 4 miles down the trail and about 200ft off to the side. One of the guys owns the land that the PCT passes through and often provides some magic for hikers. We say thanks, but we are trying to get to Hiker Town tonight.
We walked together for about half of the day, having random bits of conversation, then we would plug ourselves in to podcasts or audiobooks for a while to try and make the miles go faster. The sun came out for a while and it was getting hot, the intermittent clouds were a welcome relief and when it looked like it was going to rain and a few spots came down I was looking forward to it, but it never came to anything. While it was hot it was nowhere near as hot as doing this in the summer. We felt like we had been lucky with the weather.
I saw a big fat hairy tarantula, the biggest ugliest spider I have ever seen! The very reason I don’t cowboy camp.
With only 10 miles to go I took a rest on a concrete block. I lay down for a while and waited for Catwater. Waking on the flat concrete for so long hurts my hips. It is super boring walking along here for so long but the history of it is interesting. It was devised and built under the leadership of William Mulholland and it’s because of him that LA exists today and the metropolis it is. The famous Mulholland Drive is named after him. On the trail last year I met Tom Mulholland, his great grandson. Cool huh?
We carry on, we are walking at a good pace. We start to come into civilisation, some people are clay pigeon shooting and we can hear the shots for a while before we get there. It’s a weird place, caravans everywhere.
The aqueduct turns into a pipe above the ground and at one point it rises up, and all around it is trash. Dumped rubbish. It’s pretty gross. Definitely no the nicest section of trail! We start to pass people’s houses which also have tonnes of junk in the yards. We see a few cows and a few horses. A weird geometric building.
Eventually the trail turns and we cross a pipe gate, lifting my legs up and over was agony! Many people would think that walking along the flat is easy and nice, but in reality it really hurts, much more than going up and down hills. By the last three miles I could really feel it in my legs, my hips and knees and ankles. We follow the open aqueduct for about a mile before turning again and heading to Hiker Town.
We arrive and we are the only ones there, which we were expecting. Bob shows us around. The garage conversion is a lot tidier and quieter this year. We tell him our names and he says someone told him that I was coming. I think maybe it was Walking Mantis.
Bob has an awesome teardrop trailer from 1947 and I love it. It’s so cool!!
Catwater takes a shower, I don’t bother, and then Bob drives us down the road to the store. There is a grill there which we weren’t expecting and we ordered bacon cheeseburgers. I’m so happy not to have to eat that awful couscous concoction again. I get soda, chocolate milk and Pringles to satisfy my hunger. The people in the store are really nice. After asking me if I was Australian we had a chat about the trail.
We took our goodies back to the garage and I inhaled my burger so quickly I felt a bit sick. I threw away my couscous and sorted out my bag. It’s so nice to be able to get rid our your trash and toilet paper. Catwater does laundry, I chuck in my socks and top, everything else is alright, I’ve only worn it for two days! I walk around barefoot which was a mistake as I step on a piece of glass which goes right through my skin. I clean it with a moist toilet wipe.
I’m about to go into the bathroom but I stand and chat to Catwater about something random and I start to come over feeling faint. I don’t say anything to her but I abruptly end the conversation and rush into the loo to sit down with my head between my knees. This seems to be happening ever so frequently.
I thought Hiker Town was really creepy last year, but that was mainly because there was a man walking around calling himself the senator and claiming that he was the only one who knew about solar powered lights. It is a much nicer much more normal place this year.
We sleep inside on the sofas, it is nice to be inside. My legs are throbbing. The trailer is right in front of me as I go to sleep and I dream on living in a van…
I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Please donate here, every little bit helps.