Death by Wind

"Turn the fans off," was written by Random in one of the trail registers in this last section — with wind gusts hitting 60 miles per hour and billions of dollars of wind turbines twirling on every hill, his humor was apt and appreciated. 

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For a few days the trail was flat as it ran along the L.A. aquaduct. This section is notorious for being an unshaded hell pit, however, we lucked out with overcast skies.  

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Just a big ol straw sucking whatever water it can get. Behind it you can see one of the few joshua trees in the area that could provide suitable respite from the midday inferno.   

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Without realizing it, I was throwing down thirty mile days despite the fair amount of time I took snapping pics of these mammoth whirligigs. 

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Stampede, a British born biochemical blood test magician living in the Bay Area, walked up behind me some time after the endangered frog closure. We walked together for quite a few days through the swarms of poodle dog, exchanging life stories and ruminating on post trail plans. I think he has a few figured out - among the many, my favourite is a dog running service. Dog walkers be damned, with the shape his legs will be in by the end of this trail, he'll run circles around the competition. Additionally, he plans to marry his American citizen, Irish blood girlfriend and reep the reward of citizenship, and potatoes. I'd call him cheeky if she wasn't in on the setup. 

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We camped together in the middle of a giant field of fans. A drainage pit next to the aquaduct offered a barrier between us and the non stop gusts. 

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The clouds that night were spectacular. 

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In fact, the clouds were awesome many nights. 

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Someone told me theses are nimbostratus clouds — looks like an upside down sun blushed cow pie.

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After a resupply and short stay in the desolate town of Mojave, Gator Bait and I headed out via a bus that was able to drop us off at a freeway exit that's connected to nothing other than a wind farm and the trail. As we hoisted on our packs and exited the bus, one confused passenger exclaimed "Oh hell no,  I'm going to the city!" Those words echoed in my ears as I hauled 6 liters of water and 6 days worth of food up and out of the hot, dry desert. 

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Traversing up 2,000 feet in that exposed wind tunnel I was lucky not to be blown off the mountain. I'm thankful the weight of my pack kept me aground, and wholly didn't mind the weight when I got to a campsite sheltered from the wind with this view to enjoy my supper with. 

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Someone hauled this head up and placed it among the trees in a little sheltered campsite i set up camp in that night. I was compelled to ritualistically place loose tobacco at its base. I hear that's a garanteed way to keep off bad juju. 

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Easy. Breezy. Beautiful. Dirtwolf. 

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Among the withering scorched trees was this survivor. 

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This cutey didn't move an inch as I almost stepped on him sprawled across the road. I still haven't seen any rattlers and don't mind keeping it that way. This guy have me enough of a fright — I'm not a sissy, I swear it's instinctual 

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Flowing at about a litre every 20 minutes I was happy to wait and refill after that windy waterless 28 mile stretch. Don't worry, uI definitely filtered this stuff with Aqua Mira. I could see it was flowing 

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Happy feet. Happy trails.