25 Apr Day 29 – Hikertown Magic from O’Neal Cousins
Hiked 15.4 miles today. At mile 517.6
Early this morning I hiked into Hikertown where I met my cousin Margaret of Lancaster, CA who arrived with loads of trail magic for me and the other lucky hikers who happened to be at Hikertown. After devouring the 2 Burger King whoppers she brought me (credit to Cousin Ed for the hamburger idea) and saving apples and veggies with hummus dip for afternoon snack (credit to Cousin Kate for that trail magic idea), we drove to Lancaster for shower, laundry, more food, and more than I could name here.
I have changed the hike plan a bit to take better advantage of Cousin Margaret’s local support. Tomorrow, she will drop me off at Metrolink where I will ride the 395 South bus to Inoykern from which Kern transit will take me to Walker Pass at around mile 650. I will hike south on the PCT to Hikertown where I will get off the trail for a few weeks to go back home. In later May, I will resume my hike north from Walker pass, but loaded down with ice axe and bear vault. Thanks to all of the O’Neal cousins for your support!
My daughter, Rebecca, has friends that thru-hiked the PCT last year. They had something called 10 by 10, where they would hike 10 miles by 10 am. With my early start, I finally managed a 10 by 10, actually completing 13.2 miles by 10 am. In the desert I’m going to need make 10 by 10’s routine with early starts every day and rest from the heat in the middle of the day.
The morning walk through newly pruned oak trees on mountainside grassy fields felt like walking through a park, but the lower branches had been pruned for fire control, not to create a pleasant open space.
Here a a few light yellow daisies that I liked. The trail on the lower slopes above the desert were covered with flowers of many types and colors. I was surprised when’s cousin Margaret told me that the dryness has made it a bad year for the yellow/orange California poppies. If so, I’d like to see a good flower year.
The landscape changes.
Here I’m walking the ling straight line for the first time.
Here is Hikertown, another refuge for hikers.