Day 37: (20.4 miles)
mile 517.6 – 538
After an awesome nights sleep it was time to walk the California Aqueduct. (This is part of the water delivery system to mostly the LA basin, whose water rights originate from Owens Lake near Lone Pine). At first we walked along side the aqueduct as it flowed like a placid river through a wide cement canal.
Then we walked on top of it for several miles as it turned and became encased in a large metal pipe. It didn’t seem that big until we came across a fully exposed section of the pipe.
What an interesting feat of engineering.
The pipe then dipped underground and we walked on top of its cement highway to the windmill farm. Once on the cement highway we encountered what seemed like flurries of butterflies cascading across our path. Hundreds upon hundreds continued to flutter past us throughout the day as if playing tag with each other.
Along the way we saw trail angel Bill and Kathy’s friend Glen’s house and property. We tried to say “Hello” per Bill’s instruction but no one was home.
The trail moved off the aqueduct and onto a dirt road where we passed a marker indicating we were 1/5th done.
The trail wove through the desert between groves of Joshua trees and windmills.
The temperature rose as we walked through the midday heat to our next water source which amounted to spigot coming out of the aqueduct. We watered up and rested a bit to see if we could tread a few more miles as there was plenty of daylight, no real place to camp out of the rising winds by the water source, and the temperature was dropping. We walked for about an hour or 2moremiles and found a somewhat level area behind some chaparral to camp. This was no ordinary location as we were smack in the middle of a windmill farm.
Windmills towered above us approximately 80 feet and because of the heavy winds, they were spinning at maximum RPMs. The wind blew all night, but we were protected mostly by the chaparral, yet we could not escape the drone of the windmills.
Interesting feat indeed. POWER AND WATER TO THE SHEEPLE!!!
It looks like you guys are wearing more substantial boots than a lot of hikers (which I think would be better). Can you elaborate on your footwear and how it performs?
Paul wears Oboz sawtooth and I wear Salomon 4D GTX for ankle support, and because I have a wider foot with a small arch (I had the Salomon 3Ds before (a little lighter) but the 4Ds give me more confidence for a previous spiral fractured ankle that still has a screw holding the ligament on.). The tread and heartiness of the shoes seem to be more suited for the trail we’ve been hiking. If it were all road hikes like dirt fire roads we would wear trail type runners, but we find the harder soles and heartier shoes keep our feet and ankles more protected and cleaner which helps prevent blisters. We also have super feet insoles as the factory insoles eventually break down creating creases which actually caused me two nasty blisters on the inside of my heal in the beginning. Since the change up, no problems. As our feet tend run a little hotter with these shoes as opposed to trail runners on warm days, we change out our socks about every 5-6 miles for dry socks. This keeps our feet happier. People on the trail have commented on our “heavy” footwear (they’re really not that heavy), but for us the pros outweigh the cons especially for the terrain and the cold/snow/rain conditions which we’ve experienced more than we thought we would thus far on the trail. So far they’re working for us…and we tried out a lot of shoes to include trail runner types.
Great insight. Thanks! Love following your hike.
Hello. I am K.S.Housewright-Cook and my husband George and I would like to ask your permission to use your two photos of your walking along the top of the aqueduct. I write a blog titled “The Level Path” as part of George’s and my organization “Miracle You Ministries”. One of my primary teaching tools involving the level path is a circular picture that shows what it looks like to walk from the side and then what it looks like to walk when looking at the path from the end. Your walking on that pipe would fit perfectly! Might we use it. We would love to reference you and share your blog information with our readers!
From The Level Path of Jesus’ Peace,
Yes you may, as long as you are not making any money off it, and you give us the credit for the two photos. Please send us the link to your blog and how you incorporated the photos.