Racing Winter on the Pacific Crest Trail – Day 36

Day- 36
Date- 5-19-16
Location- Los Angeles Aqueduct
Elevation- 3,094
Distance Traveled Today- 10.3 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 523.1
Weather/Temp- windy,  70s, 80s
Injuries- small blister at base of toe
Pain level- low
Spirits/Morale- anxious
Days without shower- 0
Hunger/craving- low


We blasted out the 5 miles to hiker town early this morning, and settled into a shady spot outside. Hiker town was an interesting spot. The complex itself was several square acres fenced into a box shape. Small buildings were set up all around the perimeter, in different shapes and sizes,  but obviously trying to convey an “old West” theme.  They had different signs on them like school house, gun shop, city hall, doctor’s office,  etc. You could tell it was a work in progress,  but I loved the novelty of it.


Katana marched every one of the miles into Hiker town,  and after we got set up in the shade,  I went about securing an appointment, and transportation. The nearest veterinarian was about 30 miles away in Lancaster. I called the only person I could think of to call that was nearby…Trail angel Mary; the one who helped get me to the vet in Acton, 5 days previously. She’d given me explicit instructions to contact her if we ever needed anymore help,  and while I hated to possibly inconvenience her,  she was my only bet.


She ended up being more than happy to take us to our 4 pm appointment, wait around, and take us back.  I offered money, offered to buy coffee, a drink,  dinner, anything to repay get kindness,  and she turned it all down.  She said “It’s enough just to know that I’m helping someone,  so just let me help you.” Selfless good deeds are hard to come by these days, but out on the trail they’re alive and well.

The visit to the vet was slightly frustrating, but I left feeling better about Katana’s situation than when I went in.  The doctor spent more than an hour with us,  which is virtually unheard of.  The frustrating part, was that nobody knows hardly anything about poodle dog bush, least of all, it’s long or even short term effects on animals. She couldn’t tell me exactly what was wrong with her,  but she said that the eye drops the other doctor gave me had steroids in them,  and that steroids applied to the eye can sometimes deteriorate it.  She didn’t say that’s what was happening, but she mentioned it as a possibility.

After talking to an animal ophthalmologist for about 20 minutes, she gave me two prescriptions of different eye drops,  along with some other instructions.  I have to put artificial tears in her eye several times a day,  and every know and then wash her eye out with diluted Johnson’s baby shampoo. I’m supposed to do this for 5 days to a week,  then get her to another vet for a followup if there is no improvement. So that’s where I’m at with the special care for Katana. Side adventures indeed…

Mary took me to a Walmart to get the artificial tears and shampoo,  then dropped me back off at hiker town with further instructions to keep her in the loop,  and to call her no matter what if we needed help again. She has been a blessing on this adventure so far.

We decided to hike out this evening.  The trail was flat, and we had a good stretch walking along and on top of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. We went 5 and a half miles into the dark, with nothing bit the light of the almost full moon.  Katana was her normal self, and loves hiking at night.  She was chasing rabbits and what I think were kangaroo rats the entire way. As always,  better than television.


Myself,  Schweppes, and Mason are all cowboy camped directly on top of the Aqueduct, behind a concrete barrier that’s shielding us from the wind.  This is definitely in my top 5 most interesting places I’ve slept.  I can hear the water rushing directly below me, through the concrete slab.


The only plan tomorrow is to do close to, or over 20 miles.  We’re trying to hit the city of Mojave by Sunday morning.

Go to Day 37.

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