Day 52, May 17th – We awoke at 3:30 am to beat the heat while we walked along the LA aqueduct – a hot miserable stretch of trail that will eventually be re-routed through Tejon Ranch. Even in the pre-dawn hours it was already hot enough for just shorts & a t-shirt… and by the time the sun began to shine through the Joshua Trees the sun was already sizzling. Our goal was to make it to Cottonwood Creek, where shade & water awaited, and camp there until it cooled down and we could continue.
In the desperate heat I fantasized about the cool creek waters and relaxing in the shade of the rustling branches of the Cottonwood trees. Ha! When we arrived there was only one scraggly cottonwood and the creek was bone dry. And the water faucet was also broken. Thankfully the folks at Hikertown do a cache. The only shade was from an ugly graffiti covered concrete bridge that kept shifting as the sun rose higher in the sky. Flies and gnats pestered us and the occasional breeze felt like an oven door had just opened.
But we survived and in the evening enjoyed the cool breezes as we hiked up into the hills with the twinkling lights of a town far below.