Destination: Soledad Canyon Rd (mile 445)
We woke this morning to cloudy skies. It appeared as though yesterdays blistering heat lost a battle to today's Pacific cold front. The dark skies, and cool breeze told us to linger longer at camp in an effort to allow the sun to burn off the clouds. Of course, we didn't really want to hike in the heat. Cloudy skies are fine, but winds can get bothersome.
We set out with an early morning stream crossing, which we mostly succeeded at rock hopping across. Then we returned to Mt. Emma Rd., for a seven mile walk to Angeles Forest Highway. Unlike yesterdays flat highway walking, this road took us up a little over 1000 feet in elevation.
The climb was difficult because all through the walk the wind was whipping against our exposed skin. Usually the heat we generate from hiking is enough to allow for short sleeves and shorts. Today, however, was different. The air was thick with moisture, with low flying clouds rolling over the hills. At one point, we could visibly detect water on our skin, despite the lack of precipitation. It wasn't long hiking in the biting wind before we took off our packs and pulled out warmer clothing. It was such a stark contrast from yesterday temperature wise, if it weren't for the chaparrel landscape one might think they were in Oregon or Washington.
After seven miles of the cold air, we reached Angeles Forest Highway, where we took second breakfast. From this point the official detour made a long unnecessary jog that would have been all paved road. Not being interested in this, the crew worked off a tip from "Law" and "Order", yesterday's trail angels. We followed a jeep road under buzzing power lines.
Soon enough we connected with Aliso Canyon Road. We chose another detour to the detour which took us by Acton, a small town on Soledad Canyon Road. There was roughly six more miles between Acton and where the detour ends. After a tasty four dollar burger we passed on through the small town.
The bar at Acton had signs outside that read, "Please don't tie your horses to the rails." While, it's reasonable to say that this was done for aesthetics, it would not be surprising to find out that the signs were put there because they actually had problems with it.
Now we are sitting in a Gazebo at a KOA Kampground. We have passed the 400 mile mark, and tomorrow we will hike through the Vasquez rocks before dropping into Hiker Heaven, a place famous for it's perfect trail Angeling. A light rain is falling as some hikers layout beds in the shelter of the gazebo.
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