Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Day 27 - Wind Farms

Tuesday, May 12

I hiked over 13 hours today!

My day started at 5:30 as I watched the sunrise while walking along the covered aqueduct. I could see footprints of rabbits, deer, and coyotes in the dust of the dirt road. I could also see that someone else was already walking ahead of me.

Along the way I would occasionally see a hiker camped along the road, just like I had done. When I stopped to sign a trail register, another hiker caught up with me. His name was Bonus Miles. I had briefly seen him yesterday at Hiker Town.

We walked together as we entered a wind farm. A wind farm has many wind turbines that generate electricity as the wind turns their giant blades.

Soon the trail headed back into the mountains. Bonus Miles fell a little behind. I could also see someone far ahead. This is the view of the wind farm from the trail as it climbed into the mountains.

By noon we reached one of the few reliable sources of water, Tylerhorse Canyon creek. Already there was More Cowbell, who I first met in Idyllwild. I decided to cook lunch/dinner and got two liters of water. The next reliable source of water is 16 miles away.

Before I left, I found out that More Cowbell is planning to stay in Tehachapi tomorrow just like me. We agreed to share a room at the Best Western motel.

After hiking for another hour, the trail dropped down the mountain. I could see a trail on the next mountain and realized that my trail was dropping WAY down and I would have to hike all the way up again in the hot afternoon sun. This is one of the mental challenges of the trail, especially when you are already tired.

The trail went up and up and up. Often I looked up to what looked like the top, only to find out that there was another higher hill beyond. I yelled out a few unkind words on several occasions.

The trail topped out at 6,400 feet and as I descended I came upon some Trail Magic. Someone had left bottled water and FRESH crispy apples! That was one of the best tasting apples I have ever eaten!

It was getting late in the day as I headed down the trail. To my amazement there is another ENORMOUS wind farm!

I wanted to find a campsite, but the trail was on a steep hillside and there was no place to camp. Soon the sun began to set and I raced down the trail hoping it would lead to suitable camping spots. Finally at 7 PM there was a spot by Oak Creek. I was so happy to slip into my sleeping bag after more than 13 hours on the trail.

I am camped at PCT mile 558 in the middle of an enormous wind farm. The elevation here is 4,056 feet.

I hiked 33.6 miles today.

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