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We woke at 2am as planned and headed out to do the aqueduct. It was just Boujee and I. We started hiking and it felt hot but since the sun wasn’t out it was bearable. We started with headlamps on but once we saw a car we shut them off and realized we could hike by moonlight. The trail started in a field, passed by what looked like a school, then followed the aqueduct that was exposed with water. Essentially an open channel of water. Then it turned and followed a large black pipe which apparently brings water to the main channel. Then it turned and followed a dirt road. For literally 17 miles.
We walked and took our first break at 6 miles in. The sky was barely light toward the east but it was getting there. The moon began setting and had a purple haze around it and was bright gold. I’d never seen a moon quite like that before. It was gorgeous. I kept telling Boujee to turn around and look back at it. The sky started to lighten and have a hue of colors. I loved the silhouettes of the Joshua Trees against the sky. This desert somehow seemed different than how it’s been so far and it was actually a little enjoyable.
With another break we’d done 12 miles by 7am and met up with Clockwork, Heather, Bri, Tiger Blood, and Mosey. We made one last push to get to the water and some shade. The sun gets really hot really fast out here. Oddly my legs had some new pains in them. It felt a bit like shin splints. My arches felt fine today after hours of stretching and rolling them out last night. We finally made it to the water cache and napped under the bridge. It was too windy to actually sleep so I just stirred about and snacked and laid down trying to nap. We got there at 10am and stayed until 3:30pm. We had 6.6 more to go.
The final push was awful. It was hot but thankfully the sun was behind clouds. The wind was almost blowing me over and was pushing me down the hill as I climbed up it. I didn’t really enjoy it at all. Finally we made it to camp and ate and relaxed. What a welcome change it is to have water again at camp. Headed to Tehachipi tomorrow.