Sunday, April 21, 2019 – 5.10 miles
I took a short day today for the sake of timing: if I had walked all the way to Cajon Junction, I wouldn’t have been able to hitchhike with the assurance of reaching Mojave before dark, and I didn’t want to pay for the hotel at Cajon Junction. Therefore when I hit nice campsites in Little Horsethief Canyon, which eTrails describes as ‘the least bad camping for many miles in either direction’, I decided to stay. The normally dry canyon even had flowing water, but I noticed an oily sheen on some of the pools, so I won’t be sampling it.
About the name, eTrails states: ‘Walkara, son of a Ute chief, earned the title of “greatest horsethief in history” for his unrelenting raids on Spanish ranchos across Southern California. The tall and wiley bandit led thousands of horses through the canyon and on to New Mexico where he sold them for a handsome profit. Despite orders for his arrest, Walkara continued his exploits until his death in 1855’. I had a much less dramatic afternoon spent listening to audiobooks and wedging myself into patches of shade that didn’t overlap with too many spiny branches. Numerous hikers passed in the morning, including everyone I had talked to in this hiker bubble, but the afternoon was quiet. Oh, I was informed that the pizza yesterday was delicious and a large group successfully camped in the picnic area with tents and everything. I forgot to ask where the pizza was ordered from.