Hiker Heaven(454.4) to Bouquet Canyon Road(465.6) 11.2 Miles
I tried night hiking once on the AT and I did not care for it. I constantly had to look for blazes and I felt that it was too easy to get lost. I had the exact opposite reaction on the Pacific Crest Trail. It was really fun and there was next to no chance of getting lost.
I hung around Hiker Heaven just waiting for the temperature to drop. I took the ten o'clock shuttle into town for breakfast. Pickles, Hawkeye, Uturn, and I experienced some of the worst service I have ever gotten, but the blueberry pancakes were delightful. It took us close to 45 minutes to be greeted by our rude server. After I finally placed my order I went to the hardware store located next door. I was trying to find a hook to sew onto my gaiter. After unsuccessfully trying to explain what I was looking for to the male owner his wife walked in. I told her I basically needed a bra hook and she said she had just the thing. After digging in the back room for a few minutes she came out with exactly what I was looking for. They gave me a bunch for free. I only needed one, so I donated the remainder to Hiker Heaven.
When I got back to the restaurant our food was finally being served. Like I said earlier it was excellent. After breakfast I went back to Hiker Heaven to hurry up and wait. It was over 100 degrees in the sun. There is a heat wave until Saturday, with the desert high topping out at 116 degrees. It is impossible to hike in that kind of heat. Uturn, Spaceman, and Hawkeye tried valiantly to get me to take another zero, but I was itching to get back out onto the trail. Outro, Evac, and I decided to meet up in town around six to head back out. The shuttles were packed full of hikers heading back out. I grabbed a quick bite to eat before heading out. I told Outro and Evac to start before me. I needed some time to let dinner settle. I started the 2.2 mile road walk around seven o'clock. By eight thirty it was completely dark. As I was hiking you could see headlights bobbing up and down all around me. I made it to the only reliable water source around ten o'clock. Outro and Evac waited for me there. The trail went from really fun to super creepy in a matter of minutes. We could hear some kind of animals crying. It sounded like a newborn. As we rounded a corner it started back up and you could see its eyes glowing in the light of our headlamps. Outro and Evac screamed and jumped. I must confess that I jumped as well. We still aren't sure what we saw.
We hiked for another hour before stopping before the night. We found a nice little spot where we could all fit that was a little bit off of the trail. I ate a quick snack and decided to cowboy camp. By this time it was already after midnight and I quickly tried to get some sleep. The plan was to get up at four and to be hiking by four thirty.
All in all it was a great experience and this is how I will proceed until we finish the desert section or the extreme heat breaks.
By cultivating the beautiful we scatter the seeds of heavenly flowers, as by doing good we cultivate those that belong to humanity.
- Robert A. Heinlein