Pacific Crest Trail
Day 3 of 3 days/40 miles on the PCT in Mojave. Original plan for yesterday was 14 miles, with 16 planned for today's road walk-- but we pushed on yesterday (nearly 18 miles), making today a much more manageable ~12 miles.
We knew it would be hot with no shade, hence yesterday's decision to push extra to reduce the distance today. Like several decisions on this trip, proved to be a good idea... we made very good time on the flat dirt of Aquaduct Road (aka the Los Angeles Aquaduct), saw a few locals, trailer parks, and cows... and a whole lot of sun and hot. A massive pipeline (natural gas?) crossed over a flood channel of some sort and provided some of the only shade we saw today. A few minutes' rest and we pushed on.
Finally hit the uncovered section of the Los Angeles Aquaduct, marking 2 miles to go to Hikertown Hostel. Made good time and finished just before noon, and to the ice cold Powerade waiting for us in the car!
Then... still a good bit more driving to find our first real bathroom and lunch (Taco Bell never tasted so good!), and to pick up Travis' truck from the start point. And from there, a relatively quick 90 minutes back home!
This section is one of the more ugly sections of the PCT, with very little water, particularly in the summer. We lucked out the day before, with the seasonal stream in Tyler Horse Canyon still running, and we were early enough in the season that temperatures "only" in the mid-80F range compared to 100F+ summer temps. Definitely not a section I would recommend, particularly the long road walk between Hikertown into the foothills that lead to Tyler Horse Canyon. The Pacific Crest Trail Association hopes to extend the PCT some 50 miles (total) to the west through the mountains there, which will be more rugged but a lot prettier, sometime in the future. Not sure what that will do for the water situation tho, but still, prettier is definitely better!