Friday, May 21, 2010

Islip saddle to Mohave. Mile 500something

This last section has been a true blur. Flop got us back to the trail I think last Saturday. We were at the start of the fire detour, and had a few miles of trail before 50 miles of road.

It has been really windy and that has been mentally draining. On top of the wind, the road walking really tears up the feet. So I will recap the highlights of the section.

About 3 miles into the road walk there was a yard sale sign. We walked the 1.5 miles off the road to get there, in search of human powered transportation. We came up with 2 Razor scooters. The back wheel of one of them broke in the first mile. But the other was ridden by one person for a few hundred yards, parked, then someone else would jump on for their turn.

Eventually we made it to a junction with fast food .75 miles out of the way. We went to Burger King, and sat there till the sun started to get lower. When it cooled off a bit we moved on. Ishmale, who was a day ahead, had tipped us off to a short cut.

7 of us turned off the highway "onto a dirt road next to the mattresses under the big tree", as our cryptic directions guided. We wound our way along under the powerlines in the dark for a while, 'til 5 of our group stops to camp around mile 9. Furniture and I continued into the darkness, hoping to get to the train tracks where we were supposed to turn left. At 11 pm we stopped for dinner on a hill over looking the train tracks and a huge freeway. We went a bit further and camped under a Joshua tree next to the train depot.

In the morning we walked thru Acton and stopped at the market for fruit and pop tarts. Then we were on 10 miles of hot road to Agua Dulce. It was a tough walk, but we made it by 12. We arrived at the Saufley's home, where they host hikers in their yard and guest house. They also do your laundry! It was a relaxing stay, with lots of good hiker company. They also have 7 dogs and two horses, so I made some new friends:

Bojangles and I left early for 25 miles to the Andersons' home, Casa de Luna. Very rainy and cold day with so much wind. We finished the walk in good time and Terrie Anderson came to pick us up at the ranger station. More trail angels! How wonderful to be invited out of the rain and wind. There were about 12 other hikers there, and we were fed taco salad and had a nice evening relaxing on the sofa. In the morning we had pancakes for breakfast, and a ride to the trail. More rain and wind, and heavy legs.

It was a slow lazy day, about 21 miles to camp. At least the sun came out in the afternoon, but the wind picked up. Another 20 put us at hiker town, a cool old west film set where hikers can stay for a night or two. We sat around in the shelter of the garage till sunset, then started the walk along the California aqueduct at dark. 8 of us left together, the usual crew of Furniture, Ishmale, and Bojangles, as well as SaltyDog, CaveMan, Yellow Bird, and Rainbow Bright.

We finished the aqueduct hike in the morning, then crossed a grassland that involved some of the strongest wind I have ever been in. The kind of wind that I had to push with my poles on the down hill. It was very, very difficult, and the wind resistance made for a slow day. And there were many rattle snakes to help it all. Ewww. We then climbed out of the desert and got a great sleeping spot at about 6200 feet.

Today was an early morning, and an amazing sunrise. Only 10 miles to the road to get to Mohave. We walked along another wind farm, and the turbines were spinning fast. The strongest wind yet. It was a hard walk, but there was breakfast at the end, so it was for a purpose. We got here at 11 and went to the Road House Cafe for biscuits and gravy. Tasted so so good. Might take tomorrow off to let my feet recover a bit from all the pavement, I will see how it feels in the morning. It's 150 miles to Kennedy meadows, the start of the Sierras. I'm very excited for a change of scenery, but it looks like it will be a tough mental game to get there. More hot desert, and high winds predicted. Should be fun! Woo!

Not too sure if I will have cell service in KM but I hear there is a internet cafe, so hopefully I will get in one more post before I hit 10 days snow and wilderness beyond KM.

Hope everyone is well! And thanks for the positive comments! It's so nice to have the support.


SAM LARSON said...


Ahsa said...

Your Blog is awesome, so glad to be following you through this incredible adventure. Eugene misses you dearly!
Just one question...what is your trail name? little ninja?
happy walking, -Ahsa

Matt said...

Sam! Awesome following your blog. I am still hoping to find a way to join you for some miles in late June or maybe late July. Proud of you bud!