It was supposed to be dry, bleak, and lifeless. In stark contrast with my preconceived notion of what a desert ought to be I have encountered water, color, and life.
After the soaring peaks of the Pacific Northwest and the glacier cut granite of the Sierras the more subtle and ancient beauty of the desert has drawn me in.
Days in the desert blur together. It is difficult to order them in my memory, let alone make them appear chronological in my writing. The past 168 hours this post is about has become a series of observations in my mind and less of a ‘week’.
Colors thrive here. The flowers and sunsets are striking but even many of the shrubs have their own scintillating hues. While the sands caramel color dominates, the bright yellow flowers and red buckwheat infuse variety into what could otherwise be dreary and repetitive scenery.
For better or worse another dominating feature of the scenery where the wind turbines. 300 feet tall these gargantuan giants power over 60,000+ homes in local suburban areas. At times the area seems lifeless but it is buzzing with tons of wattage.
At mile 549 I spent the evening at a bar and grill. More accurately a homely water cache. Local trail angels have set up an umbrella, chairs, and of course loads of water. The food may have been imaginary but the water tasted as good as any brew.
Water the next day was abundant, I just couldn’t see any of it. For 15 miles I walked above the Los Angeles aqueduct. As I neared Highway 158 I was jolted by the sight of the endless aqueduct above ground. The urge I had to fight to not jump in was strong. Hearing all the creepy stories of found floating bodies made me glad, perhaps for the first time ever, that I didn’t go for a dip, rather saving the shower for Hiker Town.
Sending my, dust-covered, love from the trail, Slug