Day 44: We visited Hikertown in Neenach, CA, then took a huge bite out of our walk along the LA Aqueduct. This involved both a descent out of the Angeles National Forest and a long walk across the desert floor.
Start location: Preceding day’s stealth site
End location: Lat/Lon: 34.84336, -118.55918 aka mile 525
This post authored on 6/4/15; we can’t remember much.
We were walking by 7am. The climb down from California Oak trees to the desert floor was very pleasant and scenic. It was fully shaded for at least a few thousand feet of descent– at least a few hours of hiking. We saw few other hikers (1 total): it seemed most people had opted to skip this section entirely, and hitchike directly to Hikertown.
We soon arrived at the desert floor of Antelop Valley, CA. Things go there to die. Immediately upon reaching a dirt road, we saw old cars and trucks rotting in desert lands to the right of the PCT. It was a short, thankfully cool and breezy (at least, relatively) walk to Hikertown.
What is Hikertown? We’re still asking ourselves that question. From the road, SR-138 in Neenach, CA, it looks like a replica western town that you might otherwise see in a western-themed amusement park. From inside the property, it is a collection of buildings each tasked with one of raising chickens, storing stuff, bunking hikers, or penning cats.
We didn’t stay long- only long enough to wash laundry in the provided washing machine, eat a meal, and take outdoor showers. Lots of other hikers were there, many of whom were staying the night in one of the many themed buildings (“I’m staying in the Mayor’s Office this evening!”).
We left around 5pm, and walked briefly along a State Water Project aqueduct in the area. This aqueduct paralleled SR-138. When it intersected the LA Aqueduct, we turned left and followed the LA Aqueduct. We followed it across the desert floor till about 9pm, when we made camp at a clear, flat spot adjacent to the LA Aqueduct. You can’t camp on the LA Aqueduct once it changes from exposed iron piping to underground concrete conduits. It doubles as a road once it goes underground.
We did not sleep well this night as it was very windy. We do not recommend camping on the floor of the Antelope Valley.