[pct-l 18] section E - Agua Dulce to Lake Hughes Road
David Hough reading PCT-L
pctl at oakapple.net
Tue May 18 06:42:48 PDT 2021
It was a couple of soggy nights for through-hikers, cold
and windy too, as clouds settled over the mountains north of LA
and only intermittently allow afternooon sunny breaks. Meanwhile there's
no cloud in the sky a short distance away in Palmdale.
There is no natural water on the PCT in this stretch as of May 15-17,
except some ephemeral fog drip on the brush, and
except Bear Spring is running clear at a gallon a minute or so.
There are big caches of the north side of Bouquet Canyon and the
south side of San Francisquito Canyon.
The trail is mostly in good shape, though the brush is indicating its
intention to grow back over the trail as quickly as possible. It
was getting a lot of fog drip to help it.
Yellow mariposa lilies are carpeting the most recent steep burn areas
climbing out of Agua Dulce. Quite stunning. There seem to be at
least three distinct burns in various stages of recovery on the south
side, while the north side (Bear Spring down to Bouquet) seems to have been
Dirt bikers and mountain bikers feel free to use the PCT around here
and have built bypasses to the metal gates.
The trail is closed at Lake Hughes Road. Most through-hikers seem
to be hitching to Hikertown, although it would be unpleasantly possible
to hike along roads to the trail resumption on Pine Canyon Road, I think.
Traffic on Lake Hughes Road is sparse, and a better bet is probably to
walk up the hill 2-3 miles to Lake Hughes and hitch from there on
Three Points Road. A market is not too far east from there.
Palmdale and Lancaster are very inconvenient trail towns - all spread out
in the traditional desert style. If you get to the Palmdale Motel 6,
there is an Enterprise car rental right across the street which might be
worthwhile for getting around for a day. Neither is cheap.
Good news is Palmdale has a brewery district consisting of Lucky Luke
and Transplant, located conveniently a block apart, inconveniently in
an industrial park a long way from anywhere else you'd want to go.
They have food trucks at least on Fri and Sat nights. Even more
inconvenient is the Lucky Luke brewpub in downtown Lancaster.
A CHP is stationed on Sierra Hwy right by the PCT crossing.
He was there in the morning, and again in the late afternoon.
Looking for speeding hikers I guess.
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