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Begins: May 24, 2012
Date: Mon, May 28th, 2012
Start: Burnt Peak Road
End: Highway 138
Daily Distance: 21.6
Trip Distance: 43.2
Hours Hiked: 9
Entry Visits: 3,312
Journal Visits: 28,786
Guestbook Views: 1,849
Guestbook Entrys: 18
Gear list Journal Plan
Pacific Crest Trail Map
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Inspector General visits Hiker Town
A few days ago, I started a journal entry by saying that the place was beyond description.
Well, that was before I'd spent any amount of time there (and before I came upon Hiker Town).
The day started off as beautiful as the day before, with plenty of places to pull over for a short sit-stay. The water was a bit more "iffy" (though not especially worrisome), but for any hikers that may stumble upon this, if you're looking for water near Red Rock Tank, take a look at "The Guzzler", which is just a hundred feet or so past the tank on the trail. When I stopped there, a hiker just ahead of me had looked in the tank and noticed a dead rodent floating in the water. While I was wondering/debating on how effective my filter would be, and whether or not to pump, they walked ahead and found the "guzzler", which had some great water - clear and cold! (the guzzler is a slanted metal roof, which both funnels the water into the tank below, and shades the water from the sun).
The last 10 miles or so of the hike descended into Antelope Valley, and was much warmer and offered less shade. I was surprised to hear that the temperature was only in the upper 70's that day, because this section seemed MUCH hotter to me, even at the end of the day.
I forgot to take any pictures in Hiker Town, but as I'm writing this journal entry from a hotel room in Tehachapi, I was able to search for a little information on the place, and one of the most recent pictures I found was in a local paper ("The Mountain Enterprise") that the owner of the property (Richard Skaggs) had taken of a former U.S. Inspector General that stayed there earlier this year while hiking this section of the PCT.
Hiker Town ended up offering a lot more than I had anticipated after walking onto the property. When you walk through the front-gate, you immediately feel like you've walked onto a miniature Hollywood set (in fact, when I got to the road and saw a "Hotel" sign, I thought it was a real hotel, but it's not really). Hiker Town is made up of a bunch of "themed" rooms that Richard Skaggs makes available to hikers wanting a respite for a small donation. In addition, there's a hiker lounge to cool down in, and even laundry and a shower (you can usually also get a meal prepared here for a small donation as well). I really appreciate folks like the Skagg's who so generously offer up space at their place for weary hikers, not to mention it adds a lot of color to the trail experience.
There was just a terrific group of hikers at Hiker Town today, some of which I've met a couple of times over the past several days. I really enjoyed meeting them, and hearing a few of their stories, even if just briefly. It's stops like this, and hikers like these that are the highlight of my little section hikes.
Note: link to the article in "The Mountain Enterprise": http://mountainenterprise.com/atf.php?sid=10047?t_edition=2012-03-16