Hikertown (mile 517) to Tylerhorse canyon (mile 541), 24 miles
Cost: camped, free
I was woken at 4am by roosters then again at 5am with the diehard hikers cooking breakfast on the stove 3 metres from my head on the couch.
Outside it looked like the storm had passed in the night but it was still cool and cloudy, the perfect conditions to be walking across what is usually considered one of the hottest and driest stretches of the trail.
Today’s trail took me 12 miles along the LA aqueduct through the mojave desert, past Joshua trees, then along a dirt road and through 7 miles of a wind farm.
I started out thinking that just following a straight line on a dirt road for 12 miles was mentally challenging. As soon as I hit the wind farm and started to climb, I quickly decided that today was just as much a physical challenge. The winds were apparently blowing at 70mph and more than once I was blown off-balance. The hardest part was that I was walking against the wind at all times and each step felt like I was barely moving forward with the force of the wind violently pushing me back. It was so incredibly frustrating.
I couldn’t wait to arrive at the Tylerhorse canyon camp spot and source of water but when I got there the wind was no better and it seemed like it was going to be impossible to even attempt to set up a tent.
Cuban B, Rowan & PT were already there and the three of them were struggling to set up PT’s tent in the gale force winds. They looked around for a different spot and found some bushes that we could all try to nestle in between. We all helped each other to set up the tents and I got in straight away and cooked dinner.
The wind sounds like I’m sleeping beside a jet plane and I feel like I’m in a wind machine being battered by the wind on all sides. I’m not sure how much sleep I’m going to get tonight!