Day 45- Windchimes

The full moon shone brightly on our campsite while the wind turbines quietly hummed all night. Other hikers came through around 11pm and camped nearby. When we got up at 4:30 this morning, we tried to be careful not to wake them. I discovered that cornmeal does not cold soak well, and when I tried to heat it in my JetBoil I burned it to the pot. Pop Tarts for breakfast it is!

The rest of the hike along the aqueduct and through the wind farm was quite lovely. We watched the sun rise over the giant turbines, lighting up the morning haze with pinks and purples. The turbines themselves seemed impossibly large, towering high above us when we got close. Eventually the trail left the aqueduct and once again became a narrow dirt path, now heading to the outskirts of the wind farm and up into the hills beyond it.

The trail began to climb very gradually as it wound through low foothills covered in grasses and an occasional small shrub. We made our way to Tylerhorse Canyon which has a tiny creek. We chose to wait out the midday heat under a tree even though Jailbreak and I were anxious to keep moving. Water is scarce in this area and we need to use our time wisely. The next reliable water source is nearly 17 miles away.

In the middle of the afternoon, we started pushing uphill out of Tylerhorse Canyon. It was still hot and very, very dry. Between my sore hip, Jailbreak’s still-blistered feet and Bandaid’s knee, we did not move very quickly. We reached a steep downhill section full of switchbacks with a small meadow at the bottom and were surprised to find a tiny trickling stream just before the trail started to climb again. The shadows were getting long so we filtered water, ate dinner and continued hiking on into the night.

We watched the sun set over the hills and were relieved by the temperature drop as it did so. We continued to climb and marvel at the cotton-candy sky. We darkness was a cool blanket upon us and we watched a giant blood moon rise over distant L.A.

I was in the lead and heard a strange noise like windchimes tinkling in a soft breeze. We were in the middle of nowhere- that couldn’t be possible so I put it from my mind. A few moments later I heard it again, this time cutting distinctly through the dark. We didn’t know exactly what we were approaching but we were too curious not to check it out.

Water cache!

There was indeed a windchime hanging on the edge of the trail and as we approached it, our attention shifted to what it signaled: trail magic. There was no food or other people, but it had all that we needed: water and a flat space to spend the night. We had planned to push farther but this seemed like as good a place as any. Bandaid set up his tent while Jailbreak and I decided to cowboy camp and we all admired the twinkling lights in the distant valley before nodding off for the night.

Mile 549 in the morning

Miles: 14.1

Trail magic: 1

Hiked with: Jailbreak, Bandaid

Camped with: Jailbreak, Bandaid


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