PCT: Day 69: LA aqueduct: Part 2: 6:30PM-11:00P

Miles today: 8.6

Trail miles: 535.1

Elevation: 3122

Spinning on the turntable: None

I started hiking around 7:30 after resting in the van during the heat of the day. In this case resting means reading a book. I should have taken a nap.

I skipped the tunes and listened to the night sounds.

I heard coyotes howling for a few seconds. I was primed for a visual smorgasbord of sounds and sights.

The temperature was much cooler (70’s) and I was very appreciative to be hiking now instead of a few hours ago (90’s).

And then it got dark. Really dark. There’s a city off in the distance. I have no idea what city, but I was surprised at the lights.

No moon and so very dark. I was following the aqueduct and missed a turn, so I backtracked about a quarter mile and went in the correct direction.

Noelle and I were swapping messages as we hiked towards each other. It was great to be heading towards Noelle.

I kept walking. It kept getting more and more windy. It’s now very logical why the wind farms are all over the place.

Windy. Dirt blowing. Head down. Moving forward.

Finally I see a white light somewhere ahead in the distance. Noelle? The red lights are the wind turbines. The white light disappears. Not Noelle.

I continue walking. I learned that my pace at night with a headlamp is about 2mph. I was expecting to walk around 3mph. Sigh.

I constantly check GPS to make sure I’m on the trail. My headlamp has an illumination arc of about ten feet and it would be easy to miss another turn. I’m now paranoid that I’ll miss a turn.

I see the white light again but then it’s gone. Soon Noelle floats into my cone of light. I’m so happy to see her! She had been turning her headlamp on and off as she hiked. I tried the totally dark business but I was too clumsy and the path was too uneven.

So we hiked back to the van together. It was now very windy and we couldn’t really talk. I was supremely grateful for Noelle’s company and glad that we took our first night hike together.

The wind turbines whirled away in the darkness, briefly illuminated by their red lights as the arms pass the light.

We reached the van around 11PM and I messaged our family/friends to let them know that we survived. (Sorry for the late txt msg!)

It took me a little while to relax and fall asleep. I know I have a big hike early tomorrow morning and I should start super early to avoid the heat.

I’m beat. I thought the night hike would be relaxing and rejuvenating. It wasn’t. I’m game to try again when it isn’t so windy and I have more time.

(I really want to play with my camera and capture star/celestial images. At home I have a telescope that I drag out in the summer for astral photography. I’m terrible at capturing good images but I do enjoy trying.

Out here, most nights I’m asleep by 9PM. I may need to take a zero somewhere and just stay up late to take star pictures.)

The idea of night hiking was much better to me than the actuality of night hiking.

5 thoughts on “PCT: Day 69: LA aqueduct: Part 2: 6:30PM-11:00P

  1. That’s a pretty decent image of Saturn. I’m impressed!

  2. Didn’t mean to me anonymous!

  3. CAROL KRAJEWSKI June 10, 2019 — 6:25 am

    WOW you are so very brave

  4. Nice!

  5. I can’t imagine hiking in the total dark. I can understand avoiding the heat, however!

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