Day 39 – back on trail part B Miles 517 – 529 May 3, 2017

Daddie Gizmo: As we waited at Hikertown for the sun to fall lower in the sky, we counted 20+ hikers come in from the trail. Some would be staying the night and many others, like us, would be setting out to hike along the LA Aqueduct at night. We had never hiked at night like this before but it was a necessity due to the heat at this low elevation. We also reconnected with Mellow and Canary after not seeing them since we were all in Big Bear together. The 4 of us headed out at about 7:30 pm.

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The temperature had already come down 20 degrees or so from the heat of the day. We walked along the open area of the aqueduct for a mile before it changed to a buried iron pipe about 20-25 ft in diameter.

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Heading out for the night

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On the aqueduct

After climbing up on top we traversed the top area of the pipe that was exposed through the sand. It was about 5 ft wide, black with half-dollar sized rivits holding all of the steel sections together. It was dark now so we used our headlamps to travel along in single file. It was a small balancing act with manhole covers and odd little obstacles to navigate along the way. After the Pipe section, we turned onto the concrete road which was also the top cover of a newer portion of the aqueduct. It was long, flat and hard ground to hike on. Every so often there were junctions and raised areas made for workers to access the water below. It was here that you could hear the power of the water rushing just below your feet. For the whole stretch after the pipeline, we would walk without our headlamps. The moon was so bright that it lit up the white concrete and our path. After about 4 1/2 hours, we had past all of the people who had left before us and were camped out along the way. At one rest point we lay down on the concrete and faced up to the stars. Lacy and I both saw shooting stars which we took as a good sign that we were welcome back on the trail. Everyone found nice spots to set up for a short night.  We stopped at 12:30 and were asleep by 1. Our alarms were set for just 4 1/2 hours later.

Figure 8: it felt WONDERFUL to put my gear back on tonight and get back into hiking mode. I missed my hiking skirt and felt like we had come back home as we set foot on the trail. Between the gorgeous sunset, bright moon and being with some of my favorite people, it was a wonderful night. ❤️

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