Tilting at Windmills

A hot day heading across the floor of the Mojave Desert meant an early start.

Walking along, then crossing, the Los Angeles Aqueduct.

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Sporting mobile sun-avoidance gear, weighed down with 13+ pounds of water for an 18-mile dry stretch through the desert.

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Avoiding the sun in a place where you have to make your own shade.  Some folks set up their tents for their siesta.

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After lunch, naps and second lunch, it was time too get moving again.

It wasn’t too hot, only in the upper 80’s, and the breeze really helped, especially for a heavy sweater like me.  Gotta love evaporational cooling.

Then the trees, Joshua and man-made.

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And a long steady climb up an alluvial fan into a wind stiff enough that we had to brace ourselves from being blown off trail several times. 

After finding a bush large enough to shelter our tent from the incessant wind, we remarked on the great location for a wind farm while enjoying a beautiful desert sunset.

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Day 46 – 20 / 538

Lulled to sleep by the steady whir, whir, whir of the windmills, we awoke to the steady whir, whir, whir of the windmills.

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Today was going to be a hot day of climbing, so another early start. 

Immediately we continued climbing off of the alluvial fan, then into the hills.  It wasn’t until then that the wind finally died.  We had a great view of the wind farm, all of the windmills still.

Luckily the valley breeze started soon after, so we got that cooling while in the shade of our umbrellas.  Plus, the steady climbing meant we were getting away from the hot desert floor.

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That separation gave us great views of the expansive desert.

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If you look lower right, you’ll see part of the wind farm where we slept.

These views remind me of how much I love the desert.  So many of our fellow hikers bemoan this section for its emptiness and heat, but they overlook the beauty.  I’ve found that to be true in every desert I’ve had the pleasure of being in, whether it’s here in the US or in Australia, Israel, Egypt, Iraq or Afghanistan.

I just need to get Jen on board with a trip to the Gobi.

Speaking of Jen, here she is with a tree with a face:

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More hills, more brush and then we entered the final miles of our day, a day ending as it began, amongst windmills.

Count ’em.

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Soon we were at the highway, where we were able to catch a ride within minutes, headed to Tehachapi for resupply.

Luckily the hotel had a jacuzzi, very handy after three 20 mile days in a row and a 4-day total of 79 miles. 

Not to mention our first real showers since Big Bear, three weeks ago.  The other opportunities since then can best be described as “hosing off”.  Welcome, mind you, but not real showers.

Day 47 – 20 / 558

Please helps us help the PCT Association as they work to protect and maintain this precious resource: http://tinyurl.com/le5cu9j

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3 thoughts on “Tilting at Windmills”

  1. You’ve got some really fascinating views here. And I too love the desert. I don’t know how I’d do carrying so much equipment. But it does look like an enjoyable trek, Best wishes to the both of you.

  2. Bill & Jen,

    Great Job! You tackled a section I had to skip due to heat and will have to do this Fall! Regardless, I was lost without my sun umbrella…same one as yours…I just wore it again in a section after Sierra City….6,000 feet of climbing in lots of open sun exposure….I am glad that I am still carrying it although I sent it home for the Sierra portion…..good luck and keep on Truckin’

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