Wednesday April 6, 2022
Start: behind a large Joshua Tree, underneath a windmill, near Cottonwood creek/faucet
End: Horse Trail Camp
Elevation gain/loss: 3448/1699
After waking up at 3:15am to a ground squirrel shuffling around under the Joshua Tree, I relaxed until 3:30am, when I packed up for the day and started walking along the aqueduct. All things considered, I had a decent night’s sleep.
The aqueduct was long and boring, and the choice was either hard cement or sandy dirt road. My feet were cranky by the end.
Five miles outside of Hikertown, I met my first thru-hiker, Spear Chucker. He let me know there’s a bubble behind him, and said Hikertown was quite nice. Perhaps 30 minutes later, I saw a second thru hiker, Lukas, trying to catch up. I arrived at Hikertown around 9:45, showered, did some hand laundry, charged my phone, and then arranged for a ride to the nearby market. Just a few minutes before my ride got there, two German hikers, Big Stick and Happy arrived. They quickly grabbed what they needed and joined me for the trip to the market.
Back at Hikertown, we hung out with another German hiker, Gretel of Hanzel and Gretel, in the shade while we waited for devices to charge and the day to cool off. I finally pushed off at 2pm, being unable to hold still any longer. On my hike out of town, I met Rocket perhaps 4 miles up the trail. That section was brutal, with a ton of Poodle head bushes everywhere, a nonexistent trailbed, and an overgrown trail. I also saw my first rattlesnake – a tiny 10″ pencil thin baby snake. It took some encouragement and patience, but it did get off the trail, even if it coiled up on the side and tried to rattle at me.
I ended up stopped at Horse Trail Camp for the flat and sheltered tent sites, access to water 0.2mi away, and the picnic table. So far, it looks like I’ll have the entire place to myself.