Today was a huge day. I hiked in the early morning with the crew 6 miles to Hiker Town, another trail angel house down in the desert valley. From there we were going to have to hike along the aqueduct on a 20 mile waterless stretch. So we had to get to Hiker Town and get our stuff replenished, our bellies fed and get ready to go. We took off individually over the span of an hour, I was the last of the pack. Any other year during the stretch is the most hated stretch because of the intense desert heat. But today the weather was actually gonna be really cool. Still exposed but much cooler temperatures and cold wind was going to be blowing. That makes carrying 5 L of water for 20 miles with no shade a little more bearable.
When you're walking that long for that many hours by yourself you start to go a little bit mad. I started listening to some podcasts, I would stop and take frequent breaks. There's a big irony to this section because you're walking along the aqueduct - one of the great engineering feats of our time. But you can't access any of the water because it's being pumped through giant cast-iron pipes right under your feet.
Then, the most unexpected and amazing moment happened to me later in the afternoon. I'm walking along just like I have been and I noticed 3 hikers ahead of me see a car pulling up on the aqueduct. My first thought was it's really illegal to drive on the aqueduct. My second thought was maybe this is a trail angel who's got water or beer or something amazing that I can snag. The car talks to the three hikers for a few minutes and then the car starts driving towards me. When he pulls up, the guy looks at me and I realize that it's my friend Fred who I haven't seen or talked to in about three years!!! I don't have his phone number. I don't have any connection with him on social media because he's not on social media. I never had a way of ever notifying him that I was even doing this hike. I don't have anyway to talk to him and neither do any of our mutual friends. He stares at me for a quick second as I'm looking at him in total disbelief and he says to me "I found you motherfucker." It turns out he decided he was gonna come visit me and surprise me and he picked the one day that I was going to be hiking somewhere that he could actually get to me via car. He used my spot device to actually find me and intercept me! He told me he drove around for two hours looking for me on the aqueduct before actually finding me. He also brought me a big bag of snacks and McDonald's, specifically a Big Mac. He also has his beautiful dog Lucy with him which is cool.
We hung out for about an hour and talked about life. It was a great check in. I gave him a big hug and I thanked him and told him how much it meant to me that he came out to find me. Then he was off. It was hard watching him leave. I knew I still had about 10 more miles to go so I kept walking.
I finally got to my water source for the day. And it was a really nice way to end the day because when I got there I saw the crew that I was with the morning earlier, so the whole day kind of came full circle. The best part is, I did 25 miles today. I'm one day closer to getting into Mojave and resting and hanging out with my girlfriend.