After yesterday’s long day, we roused ourselves from our comfortable sleep at 4 am. This was to get a head start on the heat and cover good mileage before lunch time. Hiking further east into the Mojave, we were treated to a dust lit sunrise. We soon passed groups of hikers, cowboy camped next to the road, who had walked out last night. Some had glow sticks with them to light up the desert. Following the road for many miles, we were on perhaps the flattest section of the PCT. Several trail angels were out and about, one offering us iced tea and coffee. He apparently owns the land we were walking on and allows the PCT to pass across it. One couple in an RV offered us waffles, but said they would take 30 minutes. While these offers were generous, we were well set and being so early keen to hike on. Soon we came to a giant group of wind turbines, hundreds set out in clusters in the desert. Appropriately, the wind then picked up, blowing us sideways off the trail. Winding our way up through the hills we spent many a mile walking under rotating blades, eerie in the shadows they cast. A featureless part of the trail we headed for water, nestled in a small canyon beyond the turbines. Climbing through windy desert scrub we were glad to crest a rise and see a handful of trees in the canyon below. Filling up on water here, we found a nice patch of shade under a large tree, and snoozed the day away. It was actually cold enough to warrant jackets and sleeping bags to stay warm. This was something I was not expecting in the desert. After a long, leisurely break, we cooked our dinner and washed our socks before heading up the trail. Contouring for a couple of miles we descended into a small canyon. From here it was a steady switchback climb up to the top of the ridges. Digging in we worked our way up as the sun began to set. Half way we found Packman perched at small campsite overlooking the desert. He had apparently reached the bottom, looked up, took out his chair and sat there for ten minutes. Continuing on to our own campsite, we found a spot nestled right near the top. All Rattles had to do was open her tent flap to look out all the way back to Angeles National Forest.
Miles hiked – 24