Pacific Crest Trail (2019) 44: The Roof is SO SHOT

Saturday, April 27, 2019 – 10 miles

The wind picked up last night, howling violently down the canyon. Until it finally died away at 4:00 AM I slept intermittently, waking up every so often with my tent flapping. I had made adjustments for optimum tautness of the fabric, but there’s only so much that tautness can do. I dreamt that I was able to teleport to my home (which was Link’s treehouse in Ocarina of Time), and in the dreams I kept thinking ‘how lame, why didn’t I just teleport right away’. THERE’S A REASON. Ah, but being able to teleport to a soft bed would be amazing on windy nights…

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I started walking late, around 8:00 AM. I was wondering whether Tylerhorse Canyon would have been less windy last night since it’s narrower, but a hiker confirmed that Tylerhorse Canyon was windy too, making me feel better about my camping choice. Another PCT hiker had reported that its stream had oil in it/tasted like oil. I couldn’t taste any and the water was clear, but I did see tire tracks from where a douchebag had ridden a dirt bike up the streambed through the water, so maybe there was oil there at some point. Whatever the case, pretty camping in Tylerhorse Canyon.

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Tylerhorse Canyon

I met a long chain of hikers, many of whom asked about the status of the trail angel cache I had seen yesterday. One of the women explained that she was considering ‘whether she needed to carry water out of Tylerhorse Canyon’. Not sure how she’s survived the desert thus far but visual observations suggested that she was a living human being, and she displayed no desire for human flesh. Maybe she hadn’t checked the distance/elevation gain yet.

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I got briefly off-trail in the wind farm. I was still following a trail, but it was no longer the PCT, which had split off to follow a road. My trail was running parallel but sneaking west, so I returned to the PCT via another non-PCT trail.

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Joshua tree seed pods

The road crossings had signs warning drivers about PCT hikers, but the text was too small for drivers to read at a distance…

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One of the hikers I met today told me about cement platforms along the aquaduct that were good for cowboy camping, so I had that in mind for tonight, but when I arrived at Cottonwood Creek – dry, but the site of a faucet connected to the aquaduct – viable shelter between two lines of bushes tempted me. I tried to set up my tent, but the wind was too strong for my tent stakes to hold in the sandy ground. I had already removed gear from my backpack though, I was committed, so I decided to cowboy camp. I’m not carrying a groundsheet with which to protect my precious air mattress (my only piece of gear bought new for this trip) so I spread out my tent to sleep on top. I don’t imagine that will be great for the tent roof, but the roof already has more holes every time I look, so it doesn’t matter.

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