May 9, 2016
Bushcamp (mile 503.5) to buschcamp (522.1)
Last night was another windy one. Our rain fly flapped in the wind, unhooking itself from one of the front stakes and was covered in mud this morning when we awoke.
We took our time getting ready – rolling the tent and crumbling the now dirty and wet rain fly. Andy carried the tent and Laurie took the rain fly and Tyvek groundsheet. Everyday our system of who carries what portion of the tent changes – at times due to aches and pains, and other times because of sheer stubbornness.
What was covered in a blanket of fog yesterday evening was now basking in the morning light. The tops of the trees across the ridge displayed the entire spectrum of green with some orange and brown colors mixed in. It looked and felt like fall. Really beautiful.
And quite unexpected. The last two days of hiking have been a real treat.
We walked back into the enchanted oak tree forest carpeted by miners lettuce for a few more miles before the trail opened up into a meadow. The grasses danced in the wind as we walked past. Andy couldn’t help but smile. He loved it there and wants to go back in the future.
We descended on an old jeep road down towards the valley floor. Far below and across the highway were large green circles we presumed were some sort of agricultural establishment. And across the desert were more mountains a few days walk away.
We switchbacked down, stepping over down trees and past yucca plants. We crossed a road and encountered a sign which read “Stay on trail – PCT adjacent to shooting range.” This was unnerving but at least we were hiking through in May – outside shooting and hunting season.
Andy lead most of the day as it was prime rattlesnake territory. The sun was warm and the chill of the previous night felt like a distant memory.
We walked up and down small hills, past bright orange and yellow poppies and other small but beautiful flowers. Finally we reached a dirt road that eventually intersected highway 138.
One of our Instagram followers patrols this area and brought us cold water. Thanks for the refreshing water Pat!
We then crossed the street to Hikertown – an odd but fun place with lots of mini buildings. We hung out for a few hours with other hikers, charging our phones and eating lunch.
We reunited with Gabriel – another hiker we originally met at Ziggy and the Bear’s and saw again at North Fork Ranger Station. The 3 of us set out together around 4:30 to walk the aqueduct.
We’ve been looking forward to this experience.
We walked east along the California aqueduct for a few miles before turning north and walking along one of the two LA aqueducts.
We walked on the aqueduct initially and then transitioned to the road once the novelty wore off and the tiny spikes became bothersome to our feet.
We walked past a Joshua tree forest and Laurie’s excitement and admiration for the trees was reignited. We decided to camp near a cluster of Joshua trees and watched the sun fade to the west.
It was a wonderful day and nice transition back into the desert. We enjoyed seeing familiar faces and meeting new hikers at Hikertown.
Tonight may be one of the best camp spots yet!
We’re hoping to sleep early and get an early start tomorrow as it’s going to get hotter over the next few days. Over 90 degrees by Wednesday. Eek.
But that’s all to come. Right now, we enjoy where we are and whom we are with.
Tonight we are grateful for beautiful desert landscapes and new moons.