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Black - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2010

Entry 45 of 51
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Rachel & Aaron
City: Irving
State: Texas
Country: USA
Begins: May 11, 2010
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Mon, Jun 28th, 2010
Start: Hiker Town
End: Tehachapi / Williow Springs Rd.
Daily Distance: 39.8
Trip Distance: 558.6

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 1,301
Journal Visits: 58,539
Guestbook Views: 6,328
Guestbook Entrys: 158

Journal Plan

Pacific Crest Trail Map

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Rachel's New Boots

CALIENTE! and rats come to visit...

We hiked 23 miles in less than 24 hours, which included an overnight camp at Gamble Canyon. Left Hiker Town in the heat of the afternoon with a ride to Cottonwood Creek from Bob. Thus we skipped about 17 desert PCT miles here. It was hot, hot , hot. I used my Mylar umbrella for a while to cast a shadow and it worked really well (thanks Byron, Kim, Sophie, and Spencer!). Our route took us across the valley floor towards some low hills in the distance. There were joshua trees everywhere. We were near private ranch land but didn't see any cattle. The desert looks deceptively flat until you are down in it, when on foot you go up and down quite a bit. The area is heavily used by folks on motorbikes so there were many criss-crossing trails. The PCT is very well marked, though. As darkness descended we sat down and made dinner, then continued hiking with our headlamps. I can't describe how delicious the cool desert night is after the heat of the day. It made for excellent hiking as we traversed the low foothills, going up to the ridge, then down again into canyons. The moon rose dark orange at first and was not so good for navigating until we went to sleep and it turned bright white and lit up the landscape. Throughout the night I woke to look at its progress in its arch across the sky. I noticed lots of rodents with the headlamp. They look like cute rats with long tails about 8 or 10 inches long and a flattened spoon-shape at the end of the tail. The bright light made them freeze in their tracks and their eyes shine silver in the dark. I was glad to have the tent knowing so many were around. Unfortunately, they visited in the night and thoroughly enjoyed themselves chewing at our pack straps. Aaron thinks maybe they were attracted to the salt of our sweat. Thank goodness none of the straps were chewed all the way through and everything still works. Our packs do not fit in our tent with us so we don't know how to prevent this besides putting up the rain fly and stowing them in the vestibules, which have no floors.
We started this morning with a climb up to just over 6000 feet. The landscape all day featured desert scrub, a few live pines, but lots of burned skeletons of cedars and Joshua trees. Plus sandy ground which works against you as you strive to make forward progress. Came across our second wind farm and hiked very near the giant windmills. I know that many complain about the aesthetic and environmental impacts of these wind farms but to me they are beautiful. We watched workers prepare sites for more turbines from our route high above. We continued our descent down out of the hills to Oak Creek (dry, but angels had thoughtfully left gallons of water here) and out to the road. We only had time to watch a single massive turbine blade being transported on a semi make a sharp, unbelievable turn on to an adjacent road when Dan pulled over to pick us up!! He is a Kern County Sheriff's Deputy. I got to ride in the back behind the metal grid! Dan is a trail angel who has given many hikers rides in to Mojave from the trailhead. He was a great conversationalist and he and Aaron talked tasers. The perp in the back had to lean forward and shout through the grille to join the conversation! Dan dropped us off right at the Motel 6 lobby and here we remain. Ate ice cream and drank lots of ice water (and a couple of beers!). Tomorrow is a zero day and we will plan food for the next leg and a rough trail itinerary for the next week or so. Wish you were here!

Entry 45 of 51
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Journal Photo

PCT Bound 2010

Aaron & Rachel


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