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Jason "Space Cowboy" Bobier
City: San Francisco
Country: United States
Begins: Apr 15, 2007
Date: Sun, Jun 3rd, 2007
Start: Pine Canyon Creek
End: Los Angeles Aqueduct
Daily Distance: 16.6
Trip Distance: 544.5
Entry Visits: 793
Journal Visits: 84,082
Guestbook Views: 7,286
Guestbook Entrys: 143
Pacific Crest Trail Map
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Los Angeles Aqueduct pipe crossing California Aqueduct
Walked for about 7 miles on the private property of Tejon Ranch this morning after getting water from the creek. The ranch is a force to be reckoned with in this area and owns much of the land in the valley from what I've heard. Anyway, we walked directly to another trail angel's place, Richard Skagg's Hikertown.
Hikertown is a piece of land with a separate building from the main house that has been dedicated for the stay of hikers. We grabbed a shower, the caretaker Bob let us take his car up to the store for refreshments and we hung out with other hikers in the shade -- it was 95 -- until about 6:30. Bob cooked enchiladas for us before we left, which were very, very good.
We walked in the cool of the evening until around 11 pm along the shadeless, ironically waterless section of the Los Angeles aqueduct. We ended up sleeping on a raised concrete slab of the aqueduct on a dirt road since the sides of the road were barbed wired off for the private property. This was definately the strangest sleeping spot we've had to date.
Screw Tejon Ranch. These guys are the largest private land owners in California and they wouldn't let the PCT take a logical course through their property to avoid the desert floor. Instead they had to be taken to court to allow the PCT across their ranch at all. The final trail is a mean-spirited path over several unnecessary hills that leads to the desert floor rather than following the mountains. It would be one thing if they had purchased their property, but it was given to them by a bunch of land grants. Now that they are trying to sell off part of the ranch to develop a 70,000 person commute community for LA, they are using the desire to make the PCT take a more logical course as a bargaining chip. At least that is my understanding of the situation.
Hikertown was a great place to relax. We originally thought that we would leave sometime in the afternoon and begin to tackle the desert floor, but as the temperature soared it became clear that that wasn't going to happen. When we finally did leave, it was to follow two aqueducts along the desert floor. The first was the California Aqueduct which is an open concrete-lined man-made river. The open water only lasted for a moment tho. Within a mile or two the aqueduct crossed under the older Los Angeles Aqueduct in a feat of engineering. We turned north and followed the LA Aqueduct until we went to bed (on it). The LA Aqueduct started out as a closed pipe, but after a few miles changed into a concrete covered underground river. All of this water flowing next to our route, but none for us. Not too surprising tho considering the aqueduct's sordid history (the water was stolen from Owens Valley at the beginning of last century in some questionable deals).
The moon and stars tonight are fantastic. I walked most of the night without using my headlamp (and only occasionally worried about stepping on a rattlesnake). Hopefully, we'll sleep well on this concrete cover.
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org