Monday, May 24, 2010

Crossing The Mojave

Day 41-May 24th
Destination: Tylerhorse Canyon
Miles: 24

Yesterday we had snow. Yesterday we crossed the 500 mile mark. Yesterday we had wind.

The only thing similar to yesterday was the wind. We woke in the middle of the night because our tent was flapping too much in the wind. The ground was impossible to stake into, so we had to set up our double rainbow tarptent in a stakeless fashion. It stands fine this way, but with wind, it can get a little loud, as the corners are looser. Fortunately, we were at Hiker Town, so around 2am, we grabbed our pads and sleeping bags and moved into the garage, and slept soundly for three more hours.

Waking at five, we made coffee and ate our oatmeal warm, both a rare treat for us. The sunrise was beautiful, and by six thirty we were moving. We are still a day ahead of Megatex. We have been traveling with a new group of gathered hikers (though not a large group, just a collective of pairs and single hikers). Joining us at the hostel last night, and traveling across the Mojave with us were:
Motor Giggle Bootie Butt,
Sunshine + Grateful
Pica + Catch Up
Maybelline + Zach (I think)
Wild Child + Josh (I think)
Darko + En Passant
Papparazi (aka Alabama)

The walk into the Mojave was relatively cool in the morning, with little wind. Apricots and Psycho made the crossing mostly without company. We followed the open California Aquaduct for a couple miles before turning onto the closed Los Angeles Aquaduct. Blooms of large petaled white/purple flowers were scattered across our footpath until we hit the LA Aquaduct, which we walked along the top of for a mile or two before dropping down onto a frontage road.

Once on the road, the next few hours were spent walking along the compacted sun baked dirt of rarely used roads. Joshua Trees stood idly by as we passed them. Ant colonies actively milled about their homes, gathering whatever it is they gather. And we trudged on, as the heat increased. The sky offered us a beautiful rainbow between two clouds, though it was more of a line than the typical arch.

By 1:15, we had covered 17 miles of trail and were ready for a break. We huddled under the Cottonwood Creek Bridge, wearing jackets to stay warm, as the wind whipped under the bridge. After a moderately uncomfortable lunch, we crawled up onto the hill and laid out in the sun, wearing down jackets, for a midday siesta.

The rest was short, and before long we were moving again, only this time with fierce wind whipping us as we climbed the seven miles to Tylerhorse Canyon. Our straps flapped our legs, and our hats did their best to try and leap from our heads. The wind blew our trekking poles off to the sides, and sometimes we were turned ninety degrees from forward.

We powered through though, and dropped down to a canyon which is still windy, but far less so. Psycho filtered water, while Apricots made dinner. Today was our longest day yet, and we passed the 20% mark of the trail, so we celebrated by eating a candy bar and enjoying the mini-bottles of Makers Mark, provided courtesy of Apricots' brother.

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1 comment:

  1. Hola.

    Another adventure for you and 500 miles down. Great. Maker's Mark and Snickers....ah summertime and the living fill in the blank.

    Take care and journey on with blessing of safety.