My own private trail angels. May 25

Day 34

Start – Mile 493. 7am

End – Mile 511 3:30 pm

Miles – 18

Got up at the normal time and hit the trail hoping to make good time down to the valley to meet up with Karen and Cindy. Cindy is my moms neighbor and she was in the area visiting her friend Karen who lives a couple miles off the trail at mile 511. Karen offered to host me for the night which seemed like a good alternative to a place called Hiker Town. I had no idea how right that was.

But first it turned out that Fern, who I first met at the murder cabin, had camped near me so I spent most of the morning leapfrogging with her and her friends. That ended up being pretty fun except for the fact that one of them convinced me that Australia has a species of bear called Drop Bears that fall out of trees to maul people and I believed it.

This was one morning when I was especially grateful that I tend to carry more water than I need. Everyone else was having to debate which water source to try to make, and choosing between cisterns that either had a dead snake it it or a full animal carcass. Even with chlorine drops I’m not enthusiastic about those options.

Thick fog covered the trail for most of the day, which made it a pretty cold morning hike. But the actual terrain was pretty mild, mainly pine forest. By mid morning we got our first glimpse through the clouds of the Antelope Valley below, and crossed the 500 mile mark.

After that I was just pushing on to get to Karen’s. I arrived at mile 511 around 3, and Cindy came and picked me up to take me to Karen’s a couple miles away. There I found an actual hiker paradise, but an exclusive one which made it even better. I got a shower while Karen did my laundry, then was shown to my room which was actually it’s own little tiny house.

Karen’s property is pretty remote and she has two proper houses and a bunch of tiny outbuildings that have been converted to different uses. Mine was the Scout Camp, complete with a bed and bathroom and a porch.

After getting my laundry underway I had a chance to visit with them while Karen made dinner and Cindy restitched the terrible seeing job that I did on my pants at Hiker Heaven.

I couldn’t have asked for a more accommodating and gracious host, and really relished the home cooked meal after being out here this long. I would have liked to stay up talking longer, but by 8:30 I was fading and needed to get up early to tackle the Mojave Crossing so I left them and went to bed.

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