Day 30: Wind Farm
From Cottonwood Creek mile 534.9 to mile 549
A short day, but that is okay. I woke feeling sore and not well rested. John brought coffee to my tent and again thanked me for helping him find his phone. Was walking by 8 only because my tent was in direct sun.
I have about 31 miles to get to Rt 58 and Mojave, my next supply stop. There is only one water source in that stretch and that is in 6.6 miles. So my plan was to hike the 6.6 miles to the next water, siesta there until late afternoon, then start the 8 mile climb back up to 6,000 feet (carrying water) and do a few more miles so tomorrow is a downhill 14 mile or so jaunt to town.
The first 4-5 miles were through a wind farm, though there was no wind this morning. I had cell service and found a bush to sit under while I called Gayle and had a long chat. I miss my family.
After dropping down into a canyon there was a small stream and two large trees. About a dozen hikers spent the afternoon under those trees. Out of the sun it was pleasant and I rested, but could not really sleep.
At 4pm I started the 8 mile climb. I took 5 liters of water and drank as much as I could before leaving. The first half of the climb was beastly hot but then the sun dropped below the mountain and the temp became tolerable. I made it to the top and an area to camp but not as far as I hoped. But at the top there was a dirt track nearby and a guy had brought water and stew out for hikers. I ate, set up camp and crashed. He says he will bring coffee in the morning!
I will have 17 miles tomorrow to get to Mojave, but it is almost all downhill.
Still wind turbines are a common sight. I’ve seen them in West Virginia, and now on your blog on the West Coast. I think that, too often, the reason for building them is not to harvest the wind for energy, but to harvest Congress for tax credits that can be sold to fossil fuel companies. I’ve really been enjoying your blog, despite the fact that you seem to be hiking faster than I can read.
I got a ride from the trail to town from a wind turbine repair man. He said that each turbine costs 1.5m to install and is expected to generate 1.2m over 20 years. The tax credits are the only reason the economics work.