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Santa Barbara Hikes

Photos from PCT April 2013

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In April 2013 TrailHacker set off to complete something like 250 miles of the PCT starting in the Mojave desert. I went with him for the weekend.
The water source at Cottonwood Bridge was turned off. This is where we started.
The shade at Cottonwood Bridge.
TrailHacker crossing Cottonwood Bridge.
There are a lot more windmills than there were in 2008. In fact, in 2008 and 2009 when I hiked here, there were no windmills at all.
PCT sign points the way.
Joshua trees.
The new windmills have kind of obscured the trail. A large cairn marks where the trail used to be but is now covered in dirt to make a road to the windmill.
Warning signs.
The windmills make a desert wilderness into kind of an industrial wasteland. I don't like them at all.
The trail begins to rise into the Tehachapi mountains. There are still a few spring flowers.
Pretty yellow flowers.
We stop for shade under a juniper tree.
There is water at Tylerhorse creek.
The trail coming down to Tylerhorse. People camp next to that pile of wood on the left.
Tylerhorse Creek and the trail heading northward.
Off we go to the north.
Interesting flowers as we climb.
Another view of these flowers. They smelled pretty good, too.
Looking down at the desert and windmills. It is very windy up here and getting cold. It's getting close to dinner and we need to find a good place to eat and camp.
We stop for rest next to this tree. Too early to camp yet and too windy.
Joshua trees in bloom.
We meet this old guy who maintains a cache up here. I forget who is Larry and who is Daniel. One is the man and the other is the dog. We're pretty much at the top of the mountains now. It's pretty cold, and still very windy here. We are hungry.
Here is the little oasis cache the man maintains. He tips the chairs over so they won't blow away.
We have dinner at the cache and then hike on in search of a better place to camp. We find some trees that seem fairly sheltered from the wind. It blew hard all night though and was difficult to sleep. The tent blew down a couple times.
It's a lovely day the following morning. Less windy than other times I've been here but still windy.
Lots of spring flowers on the hills this early in the hiking season.
Big puffball mushrooms.
You can eat puffballs.
We did not take these puffballs. They were too amazing to take and eat. We wanted others to see them. They looked like skulls popping out of the ground.
Burned trees.
Spring flowers.
Windmills. I felt sorry for the birds trying to soar on the edges of these hills. These windmills were not here in 2008 and 2009 when I came through.
These clouds looked a little worrisome. Turned out TrailHacker had terrible weather the next couple of days.
The tiger tank and shower. It is empty right now.
The shower had no water, either.
TrailHacker is having fun for the camera.
We hiked down to Willow Springs Road. The little creek there had a tiny flow of water.
TrailHacker took some readings with his GPS.
The oaks down here at Willow Springs Road were pretty impressive.

From here we drove into Tehachapi to have lunch and then I drove TrailHacker back here and said good-bye to him as he continued up the trail. It is always sad to say good-bye. He ended up making it all the way to Trail Pass, the start of the High Sierra.