Day 24 – 5/15/16
Acton KOA 444.31 to Bouquet Canyon road Campsite 465.6
Total miles: 21.29
5 Star and I did the usual up by 5 gone by 5:30. Last night wasn’t too bad. There were people playing music pretty late and a road less than 50 feet away that motorcyclist scream down. My earplugs helped block out most of the sound, could still hear Mexican music though. I was so tired from not sleeping the night before that I only woke up a few times. I did go to the bathroom around midnight and I’m pretty sure someone had just finished taking a shower. Showering at midnight.
The trail was uphill for about 6 miles, luckily it was am overcast morning so the climb wasn’t too bad. The scenery was more of the same desert hills that I’ve seen the last few days. Although, I knew I would be seeing some interesting rock formations today since I’d be going through Vasquez Rocks.
As I crested the mountain I checked to see if I had service and talked to my parents as I hiked on. I talked to them for awhile until I came across a concrete tunnel. I called back once I got to the other side but I was walking through a interesting canyon and the service dropped.
The rock formations reminded me of the Grand Canyon on the way to Havasu Falls. The shape of the rocks look like ships sinking to me. Very interesting.
For a couple miles there were wooden signs with plant names. Although I think some of the plants were long gone.
At 9 I reached Vasquez Rocks. Apparently this area is used in movies and shows for an “alien” landscape. I believe it was used in the original Star Trek series. I set my pack down and my phone got ripped out its pocket because if the stupid tangled mess of headphones, hat cord, and sunglasses cord. I didn’t realize till later that I cracked my screen. Sigh. Oh well, doesn’t stop it from working.
I called my parents back and sat on a table talking to them while snacking and drinking a coke I packed out of the campground. I was surprised it didn’t spray everywhere from all the jostling in my pack.
10 minutes later 5 Star shows up and visits the Porta potty that is near by. He comes back and tells me it was super nice. How low will our standards go the longer we hike? I guess anything is better than digging your own hole.
As I sit at the table close to 15 hikers walk by. A trail angel house called Hiker Heaven is only a few miles ahead. They have a 50 hiker limit but judging by the amount of people it will definitely hit 50 today. We continue on and the trail comes to a road. The trail becomes a roadwalk as it goes through the town of Agua Dulce.
We get to the town center which consists of a market, a few restaurants, a garden store, and a hardware store. We stop in the cafe where we see a bunch of packs leaning against the porch railing. Time for a big breakfast!
5 Star and I sit on the patio and order. I get green eggs and ham. Pesto, spinich, and ham omelet. So good. Definitely hit the spot. We talk about what to do since Hiker Heaven is going to be packed. We decide that we should hike 11ish more miles since the next trail angel house is 24 miles away. That way we get there early and we can set up way in the back of their property where it’ll be quiet. These trail angels, The Andersons or Casa de Luna, are known for being the party stop so it can get loud. However, their property stretches way back behind the house where you can get away from the craziness when you’ve had enough. The plan is to get there early and lounge around, and then take a zero the next day.
While eating a couple Model As roll by. One parks across the street and then a 55 Thunderbird pulls up.
After breakfast we walk across the street to the market to get some food to hold us over a day until we get to another small market in 24 miles. As we are leaving the Hobbit walks up and goes to the cafe to get lunch. We tell him our plan but he is going to stay at Hiker Heaven. He might stay the day after too. We probably will see him on our zero day at Casa de Luna.
As we are talking to The Hobbit a cat walks over and sits on the grass looking at a mole hole. We watch the cat as he tries to very carefully sneak up on the mole. After a couple minutes watching the cat stare at this mole poking around at his hoke the cat attacks but misses. I walk over and give him a sympathy pet. He’s pretty nice and rubs his head on my legs. I keep petting him when he does a 180° mood change and goes to swipe at me. Dang cats!
The “trail” continues on the road for another couple miles before climbing up a mountain. About 1,700 feet of elevation over 6ish miles. Unfortunately it was no longer overcast and the sun was just as hot as ever. As the hours rolled on I started to slow down. I definitely lose steam after 11am.
We take a break after a few miles and 5 Star takes out a bag of grapes he got at the market. Definitely hit the spot!
It was about 8 miles from Agua Dulce to water and then another 2.5 to a campsite. Finding a place to camp is quite hard out here. 90% of the time I am walking on the side of a mountain where there is no flat spot to put up a tent, let alone two or three.
As we get closer to the water source I’m day dreaming and tired. I’m looking at the trail because if I don’t I’ll trip and kick large rocks. I’m plodding along when all of a sudden I’m almost stepping on a snake and it hisses and makes a short strike. I leap forward out of the way and almost have a heart attack. I look back and see its not a rattler but it definitely had the same markings and color that let it blend in. It slithers away as my heart slows back down. Too close for comfort on that one.
We get to the water source and it is swarming with bees. I do my best bee impression and try to blend in while I fill up my dirty water bag so I can filter it into my bottles.
Only 2.5 miles to a road where there is supposed to be some spots to out up a tent. It’s getting late and my feet are aching pretty bad. Normally it’s heels but today my arches were getting very sore and starting to feel like a sprain. I walk down the mountain and come to the road. There is a sign on the side I’m on and it says only 465 miles to Mexico. Wow, have I really gone that far?
It’s funny I hardly ever judge time by hours or days anymore. Everything is miles away or miles ago. I started 465 miles ago? That seems so long ago. Jason with 0 miles had no idea what was in store for him. I’m sure 2,658 miles Jason will say the same about 465 miles Jason. Everyday is a challenge and I never know if I’m going to have a good or bad day. Some days are great and some suck. Walking for 8 to 10 hours a day is exhausting. Physically and mentally. I’m constantly sweating, hot, thirsty, hungry, sore everywhere, and miss home. These things make everyday hard but even with all these negatives I still love it out here. I could be at work, sitting in traffic, or bored at home.
I cross the street and walk under an oak tree and there is a sign pointing to water. I look to my left and see several gallons of water, a bag of orange cuties, Gatorade, and a coffee container with Paydays. Score!
Around the corner are some flat slots to set up tents. Unfortunately, we are surrounded by poison oak and I didn’t realize until I brushed up against it a few times while setting up my tent. So far so good. I was resistant to it as a kid so I’m hoping I still am. I pull out my pad and sit in the shade of poison oak and eat some food. Need jerkey, cuties, payday, grapes, and a giant bag of Welch’s gummies. Packed with vitamin C! 100% per serving and there were 5 servings. No scurvy for me.
A few hikers pass by and have to fight over the last payday and Gatorade. I sit on my pad and work on my foot, cutting off the dried dead skin from my old blisters.
Some hikers come in and set up there tents before smoking weed. At least they are quiet. I’m ready for a Nero and a zero. I just hope it’s not as crazy and rambunctious as I’ve heard. Where do these kids get the energy to party?