sunrise through the Joshua Trees

 16th May 2015

Mileage 20 (32.2km)

Aquaduct Camp (521.5) to Tylerhorse Canyon (541.5)

My body resented the long hours walking on the flat even ground of the road yesterday. It manifested itself in the form of a swollen ankle. I’ve mentioned before that this hike is brutal on the body. I just hope my body can keep going. For the first time I’m starting to have doubts.

I limped out of camp and continued hiking along the Aquaduct with Tink, Stonefoot and Zig Zag. It was covered in concrete and made for easy hiking, though my ankle disagreed. All day and part of yesterday I mentioned that we should be getting some trail magic. It was a weekend I reasoned. We needed something to pick us all up, we were wiped out from yesterday’s road hike. Two hours into the days hike we hiked past a gun club. Two of the guys came down to offer water, which we all took. One of them mentioned that we should have passed by last night, they were having a feast. If only we had known. We love feasts.

The weather was neither hot nor cold. It was just right for hiking, except for the strong wind that is. The first 10 miles had been hiking on a concrete covered Aquaduct. The area was arid. This is the Mojave Desert after all. The next 10 miles of hiking was through a wind farm. They picked a great place. The wind nearly blew me off my feet at one point. We all agreed that the wind farm just seemed to last forever. There was little vegetation. Occasional shrubs or stands of Joshua Trees. 

By 4.30pm we limped into a small canyon that had flowing water. I drank the last of my water many miles ago and was feeling rather parched. Despite the pain in my ankle which became debilitating by the afternoon I loved the landscape.

There were several other hikers relaxing and filing water from the slow flowing stream. GoalTech arrived with more trail magic. I had already been in contact with GoalTech and knew of his impeding arrival. I just didn’t quite know where or when. Like kids in a candy store we lined up to receive our calories. He is a section hiker who not only hikes the trail but spreads trail magic along the way. Thank you GoalTech. We all decided to set up camp in the canyon. We were all suffering in one way or another. Hopefully a good nights sleep can heal our painful bodies. We are all rather run down.

walking the aquaduct road

  

walking on the concrete covered aquaduct

    

rest break after 10 miles

  

wind farm walking

        

how many hikers can you see?

  

trail magic time

 

provider of the trail magic. GoalTech

  

16 Responses

  1. Ian

    GoalTech rules! I follow him from time to time and what he does is awesome.

  2. annathrax

    I love the “how many hikers can you see” photo. Love these desert scenes.

    • BikeHikeSafari

      Will camp about a mile from the main hwy then rest up in Mojave for a couple of days. Not going to tehachapi, I assume that’s where you are?

      • BikeHikeSafari

        I’m sure you will try your best to create havoc at the buffets. I’m a bit tired and broken, I need some rest in Mojave. Will be back on trail mid week, might see you out there.

  3. Sally

    Sounds tough! The Canadians are cheering for you Shepherd!

  4. ADL

    Swollen ankles. It took me awhile to figure out that my ankle swelling after being off trail for several days was just SOP. At first I was definitely concerned even though they didn’t hurt for some reason. Now, I just expect it especially after finishing a long trail. FYI, I do not expect a reply to these comments. I know this is old stuff. ADL

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