Skip to content

Day 38-41: Picturing the Mojave

We spend much of our time on the Pacific Crest Trail walking quietly. We observe and enjoy our surroundings, living in the moment. In the same spirit, this post consists only of photographs, so you can view our journey without commentary.

Day 38: Agua Dulce (Mile 454.5)-Dowd Canyon (Mile 475.5), plus 1 mile from town to trail; 22 miles

20120530-130737.jpg

20120530-130806.jpg

20120530-130829.jpg

20120530-130853.jpg

20120530-130914.jpg

20120530-130938.jpg

Day 39: Dowd Canyon (Mile 475.5)-Near Sawmill Campground (Mile 497.5); 22 miles

20120530-131051.jpg

20120530-131111.jpg

20120530-131130.jpg

20120530-131215.jpg

20120530-131240.jpg

Day 40: Near Sawmill Campground (Mile 497.5)-Los Angeles Aqueduct (Mile 521.5); 24 miles

20120530-131344.jpg

20120530-131421.jpg

20120530-131502.jpg

20120530-131538.jpg

20120530-131618.jpg

20120530-131703.jpg

20120530-131731.jpg

20120530-131749.jpg

Day 41: Los Angeles Aqueduct (Mile 521.5)-Between Tylerhorse and Gamble Spring Canyons (Mile 544); 22.5 miles

20120530-131859.jpg

20120530-131916.jpg

20120530-131936.jpg

20120530-131954.jpg

20120530-132016.jpg

20120530-132051.jpg

118 Comments Post a comment
  1. Noel #

    Dear Folks

    Greetings from down under. Your images and journey are gorgeous. Thanks for allowing us to follow along.

    Best wishes

    Noel and Ulrike

    May 30, 2012
  2. Kathleen #

    Magical…

    May 30, 2012
  3. Barb #

    Though I always enjoy your comments, the photos by themselves tell a lot….and are lovely.

    May 30, 2012
    • Thanks Barb, we were hoping this post would stand on its own without commentary, and it looks like we were right. Glad you like it! But don’t worry, we will be back with more text in the next post.

      June 5, 2012
  4. Mary #

    I enjoy ALL your posts, with commentary and without. Your photos are always heart-lifting. Lindley and I drove through/near the country you are walking through in the beginning of April as we left the West Coast for our overland journey to North Carolina. We detoured actually, to see the Joshua Trees. The trees and rocks looked to me like cartoon characters invented by Walt Disney. I hope Chris gets a new pair of socks soon. xxx mg

    May 30, 2012
    • Thanks Mary, that is great to hear. And so cool that you got to see the Joshua trees — they really are crazy. They are actually in the yucca family, and you can see the resemblance, but you are right, they are cartoonish. Your road trip sounds like fun! And don’t worry, I just replaced the socks with the big hole.

      June 5, 2012
  5. Hi Anna & Chris we have been avidly following your treck& now we are even following fon Madrid Spain
    We both would have loved to have done that hike ourselves so we follow your progress vicariously! Keep up the pace you’re heading to some beautiful sights . Pauline & Dan Cindy’s family

    May 30, 2012
    • Hey Pauline and Dan, Glad you’re enjoying the trip posts. We’re about a week away from the Sierras and are especially excited to hike through that section of the PCT. Hope you’re having fun in Madrid!

      June 5, 2012
  6. Jan #

    Breathtaking! I love Anna the windmill!

    May 30, 2012
    • Thanks Mom! The only way we could portray the gargantuan size of those wind turbines was to show one of us next to one of them. Windmill would be a good trail name for Anna. :-)

      June 5, 2012
  7. Dante Rodriguez #

    Hey! I was just there, passed through the Mojave on the way to Grand Canyon with the kids over spring break. Saw all the wind turbines, etc. What a coincidence.

    May 30, 2012
    • Ahh, that’s an awesome spring break trip. We hope to explore the Grand Canyon one day…but first we have all of California, Oregon, and Washington to explore!

      The wind turbines were pretty sweet to see up close.

      June 5, 2012
  8. Kathy Merrill #

    Anna & Chris, is the giant seed pod, at least I am assuming that is what it is, that ultimately is decorated with your mini companion, similar to Wilson (volleyball) Tom Hanks carried around with him in Cast Away?? Love your blog. Thanks for sharing.

    May 31, 2012
    • Our pet bird Cheep Cheep is perched on top of a huge pinecone in the 500 mile mark photo. She has some similarities to the volleyball Wilson, but we play and joke around with her wherever we are, whether that is in the woods or in our apartment. Don’t worry we aren’t going crazy like Tom Hanks!

      June 5, 2012
  9. Wonderful photos! I especially like the composition in the vertical image with Chris walking in the foreground. Is that a jackrabbit I see in another photo?

    May 31, 2012
    • Good spot, Dad! Chris was taking a picture of the landscape and the jackrabbit hopped into the frame, paused for a few seconds, and then hopped away again. I love surprises like that on the trail.

      June 5, 2012
  10. Jan #

    Are you two eating Jello instant cheesecake? That sounds like it might be good hiking food.

    May 31, 2012
    • That cheesecake is a good idea, and Anna remembered that we had tried it before the trip, but it was actually too sugary. Hard to believe, I know, since we do need calories. Thanks for the suggestion though!

      June 5, 2012
  11. That’s beautiful. I might have to add that trail to my bucket list :)

    May 31, 2012
    • Thanks, it really is as awesome as it looks. It is quite difficult physically but worth all the effort. If at the end of every hike, you feel you want to keep going, and if you love mountains, this is a bucket list trail for sure.

      June 5, 2012
  12. Looks like such an adventure! Did you travel on you work’s vacation?

    Beautiful photos!
    Katie

    http://katieraspberry.wordpress.com/

    May 31, 2012
    • Thanks Katie, we never know what the next bend in the trail will bring, and that’s very exciting for us. We had to quit our jobs to hike the trail, as it will take us five months to complete the full 2650 miles of trail. As you might have guessed, we are very committed to this hike! It is amazing.

      June 5, 2012
  13. Reblogged this on thepicitookyesterday and commented:
    I would love to do something like this!

    May 31, 2012
  14. Awesome adventure and great photos! Good luck on the rest of your journey. :)

    And congrats on being featured!

    May 31, 2012
    • Thanks very much, Mariel. We are super excited to share our experiences with all kinds of people, so we feel great that we made the front page!

      June 5, 2012
  15. Margaret #

    And I always thought deserts were flat….How heavy are your packs when you are carrying extra water? Your mileage is getting up there! Part of that is muscle tone, I imagine, but less steepness as well?

    May 31, 2012
    • Some parts of the Mojave are flat, but not all. We are happy to get up high though, as it gets cooler the higher we get. We did have a flat section in the Mojave, and that made higher mileage easier. It’s still tiring to walk over 20 miles in a day though, even if they are flat miles. As we get stronger over time, it does become easier. But not easy!

      A liter of water weighs about two pounds, so when we are carrying 5 liters of water each, that’s 10 pounds each just in water.

      June 5, 2012
  16. I love that you are obviously going the ultra-light route but are carrying a big-ass camera. Great style points and how I would do it if i could just get the ultra-light part dialed in. Dragging two little kids backpacking doesn’t exactly lend itself to the UL world. :) Anyway, as an AT thru-hiker I wanted to wish you guys the best of luck, great weather, full bellies and a wonderful journey. You’ll be forever changed in the best ways. Cheers! Alisa

    May 31, 2012
    • Cheers, Alisa! I pondered bringing a smaller camera, but realized the big one would be worth it since I’d be seeing so much, and I want to publish a book and create large prints as well. It does feel strange to be cutting extra straps off your pack to save weight, and then carry such a heavy camera, but we must sacrifice for our art, eh? :-)

      We have met a 9 year old and her mom on the trail, and they both travel light, so there is hope. But for younger kids than that, I have to agree, they are hard to carry and there is no way to lighten them!

      Anyway, thanks for the very kind wishes, and good luck in your own adventures. It’s great to be out walking!

      June 5, 2012
      • very cool on the mom and 9 yo. we are planning to hike the Wonderland Trail in August with what will then be our 4 and 9 year old. the 9 year old is a seasoned backpacking veteran…the four year old our spastic little wildcard, of course. not sure there are enough lollipops in the universe that will make her see the benefits of death-marching for 12 days. enjoy your peaceful, long, whining-free, barney song-free days while they last. ;)

        June 5, 2012
        • That is hilarious! With time surely the 4 year old will become a 9 year old. Of course by then the 9 year old will be a teenager…

          Have an awesome hike!

          June 5, 2012
  17. gina & ed #

    Enjoying your pictures and story…heard a bit from Anna’s mom over memorial day wknd about your R & R experience.
    Are you ever a wee bit sad as you are passing through such beautiful areas that you may never see them again? I think at times I would just want to sit and view some places longer (and journal with a cup of tea!! : )

    May 31, 2012
    • Yeah, I feel that we could spend a whole lifetime exploring each of these areas. We try to pick some of our favorite vistas for lunch or break spots, but you’re right that this long distance trip doesn’t allow for too much tea sipping. We may travel back to our favorite places on the PCT in future years, but my guess is that we’ll more likely keep exploring completely new areas, like our new home state of Colorado!

      June 5, 2012
      • where will you be in colorado? we are moving from Dolores to Ridgway soon. welcome to a great state!

        June 5, 2012
        • We will be in Fort Collins. Thanks, we can’t wait! We are so excited for all the good adventures to come.

          June 8, 2012
  18. Wow! Love the pictures and look forward to reading more about your journey. Thanks for sharing. You Matter! Smiles, Nancy

    May 31, 2012
  19. hey guys, its Dancing Feet! are you in mojave/tehachapi? i’m in Mojave, gonna head out tonight, been here for 2 days, slackpacked the 8 miles in between the 2 hitches yesterday. stoked to see Cheep Cheep! i sent Butterstuff to foster care with the rest of his buddies from home.:( theres no way i can carry him along with all the other crap i’m carrying through the sierras. lol. so stoked, love your guy’s pics. aloha!! xoxo

    May 31, 2012
    • Thanks Keala! It was so great to run into you at the water cache and catch up! We heard you canceled your surfing plans. Maybe that means you are not far from us now, and we will run into you again — at KM perhaps?

      June 5, 2012
  20. Alex Jones #

    How wonderful these pictures and your journey. How do you manage to update your blog whilst doing this?

    May 31, 2012
    • Thanks Alex! We use our iPhones and the WordPress app. It works well as long as we can find a wireless signal, which isn’t always easy in the wilderness! We also have a solar panel to keep our phones charged, which works great.

      June 5, 2012
  21. love love your photos!! aren’t the windmills spectacularly huge?..lol enjoy I will be returning periodically :) safe journeys

    May 31, 2012
  22. Wow, what a crazy-fun adventure! I’m curious as to what you daydream about during all that hiking…I’ll poke around on your site to see if you write about that…if not, you should!

    Cheers!
    Courtney Hosny
    http://www.oneweektocrazy.com

    May 31, 2012
    • Good question! Often I have songs running through my head, over and over. For a while it was “Hotel California”, and there were some Beastie Boys lyrics and a Hootie and the Blowfish song as well. Sometimes I ponder about my life. Mostly though I pay attention to what is around me, because I don’t want to miss it. Also my photographs are better the more attentive I am.

      June 5, 2012
  23. Loving your photos, especially the one wear you hiked so much you wore a hole in the heel of your sock! Congrats on being FP!

    May 31, 2012
    • Thanks! This trail really is a good test of gear, and of our bodies. Fortunately our bodies don’t have any unexpected holes yet!

      June 5, 2012
  24. What a joy to follow some PCT hikers. As we have done it ourselves many years ago it feels as if we are invited no to do it again. I don’t have to tell you that it will change your life. I wish you so much luck.

    May 31, 2012
    • Klaus, it’s great to hear from a fellow thru hiker! We are happy to share our experiences, and feel free to comment anytime with your questions or other thoughts. Thanks for the good wishes!

      June 5, 2012
  25. Traveling across New Mexico on our trips we see hundreds of the wind turbines…..they are absolutely amazing up close. From far away you just don’t appreciate their size. On one of our trips one of the blades was being transported and it took two lanes and was way longer than the vehicle carrying it which was actually longer than a normal semi

    May 31, 2012
    • Yes, they are incredibly large. It feels like being in the future to walk through a windfarm. It is heartening that so much money and effort is going into producing them, because there is such a pressing need for better ways to power our world. I wonder if the turbines will get even bigger in the future!

      June 5, 2012
  26. Fabulous post on your adventures! The pictures are wonderful Congratulations on being freshly Pressed!

    May 31, 2012
    • Thank you, we are excited to be out here walking and sharing this, and it’s wonderful that so many others are reading now!

      June 5, 2012
  27. I love this! Your adventure looks amazing, can’t wait to see the rest :)

    May 31, 2012
  28. Where do you refill your water?? I love the night picture of the sky. The stars must be amazing!

    May 31, 2012
    • Sometimes we refill our water at a creek, or sometimes at a spring that seeps out of rocks or the ground. Sometimes we get water from a tank, such as the round concrete structure you see in this post. Water is so scarce in the desert that we are very careful to carry enough to get us to the next water source.

      The stars are awesome for sure, though often we sleep before we can see them. Sometimes I will set an alarm and wake at 10 PM to take long exposures of the stars, then sleep again after that.

      June 5, 2012
  29. lijiujiu #

    Great pics!
    You have a great journey, and the Mojave is a beautiful place, so unique, thanks for sharing…

    May 31, 2012
    • Thanks, glad you like the photographs! The Mojave is indeed unique, especially the Joshua trees. We felt fortunate to experience it. It would be great to return someday and see more, because it has a lot to offer.

      June 5, 2012
  30. woah! so it takes around 40 days of constant walking for a sock to be worn out? hehe!

    May 31, 2012
    • Haha, actually more like half that, since I was switching between two pairs of socks. I have determined that a running shoe lasts about 500 miles, and a sock about 250. We are really burning through them!

      June 5, 2012
  31. Tara Woodruff ~ The Challenge #

    WOW!! I am so happy you are freshly pressed because I may never have found this blog! Brings tears to my eyes!! beautiful journey! Thank you!

    May 31, 2012
    • Thanks so much, Tara! One of our hopes for this blog is to inspire people by showing them the beautiful world that is out here. So glad we connected with you!

      June 5, 2012
      • Tara Woodruff ~ The Challenge #

        M e too!!!

        June 5, 2012
  32. Love love love this. I cannot wait to walk this same trail one day! I will be following your adventures closely :) ~ Matt

    May 31, 2012
    • Thanks Matt, happy to have you following along! It’s such an intense experience being on the trail because you see so much every day. Different from anything we have done before. It’s amazing!

      June 5, 2012
  33. I am always amazed by people who could do this. Beautiful photographs, and some are funny as well :D Great adventure guys! I enjoy and look forward to your next posts :)

    May 31, 2012
    • Thanks! It is cool to see so many people out here of different weights, ages, and sizes. It drives home how important the mental aspect is to completing something like this. If you are really determined, you can probably succeed. But even of you are a
      strong athlete, you will fail if you lose your drive.

      June 5, 2012
  34. great photos and wonderful journey… my favorite is the far shot photo of you hiking on the long trail.. good luck on your next adventure

    May 31, 2012
    • Cheers, thanks! I felt that photo conveyed something about the length of our journey and the tenaciousness it takes to succeed. But there is a lot of beauty here to keep us going too.

      June 5, 2012
  35. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Traveling through my neck of the woods. Welcome! You are doing a great thing.

    May 31, 2012
  36. Larva #

    Hahaha, you need new socks :)

    June 1, 2012
  37. Alyssa #

    Great adventure. Thanks for this wonderful photos and yes, you need a new socks. :)

    —————————-
    colorado springs divorce lawyers

    June 1, 2012
  38. good day from south africa….that looks like an awesome journey……wish i was with you……fatty and i wish to do some thing similar around the southern african coast…but unfortunatly we have all this work and family responsiblity nonsense to take care of……oh and no money…..enjoy

    June 1, 2012
    • i do however have really good socks…………….

      June 1, 2012
    • Cheers! We’ve heard there are some great trails in South Africa. It can be difficult but there are people with families and jobs walking the trail with us, so maybe you can figure something out. It’s also great to get out in nature and walk for a day or two, or a week, when you can! So refreshing, healthy, and inexpensive too.

      June 5, 2012
      • indeed the drakensburg are very very beautiful……we are moving southward and collecting all the hiking maps as we go……….unfortunate we can only go once or twice a year and the hiking has to be short overnights as we have kids with us…but not for ever…..

        June 6, 2012
  39. beautiful Anna & Chris.
    I scroll down until I get from…good socks. I laugh honestly!!=)
    Thumbs up on long road, ..oh! Chris left you behind.

    June 1, 2012
    • Thanks! We need to have humor out here because it is a long walk, as you can see from those socks, haha. Luckily Anna waited for me after I took her picture on that road. Otherwise I might not have caught up!

      June 5, 2012
  40. Breathtaking, almost dreamy. It’s an exeperience similar to a mental trip in a place that seems so far away, it become magic. Very interesting, I think i shoul write something about those photos, and if I’ll do so I’ll be sure to link to this blog! Thank you!

    June 1, 2012
    • I love your description of the photos, thanks for that. So cool that you were transported to a different place. Please do write about them if you’d like, and comment back here if you do. Cheers!

      June 5, 2012
  41. Great pics.

    June 1, 2012
  42. Jose M. López #

    Wonderful and funny day with the mother nature

    June 1, 2012
  43. I really like the vertical image with the road running down the middle and the hiker. Great capture!

    June 1, 2012
    • Thanks! I was really excited to see how the road extended to the mountains, and to realize I could wait for Anna to walk into the frame, which completed the image.

      June 5, 2012
  44. had a wonderful journey

    June 1, 2012
  45. It looks like a wonderful journey!

    I admire your dedication and courage, such journeys are never easy on the body :D

    June 1, 2012
    • Thanks, it is amazing! It is hard on our bodies, but we have gotten stronger and and it’s not as painful as it was at first. We are plenty tired every evening though!

      June 5, 2012
  46. Amazing pics…The word jealousy does not even come close to what i feel by reading about your journey. Maybe maybe maybe I get to do something like this someday. Wish you all the best of everything on the rest of your journey….zman sends

    June 1, 2012
    • Thank you zman! It can require a lot of planning and sacrifice, but it is well worth it to experience something like this. Hopefully it will work out for you!

      June 5, 2012
  47. Beautiful and fascinating blog…

    June 2, 2012
  48. What an amazing adventure, and to be able to do it with your partner must be even more fulfilling. I’m sure you will create an even stronger bond through this trip :)

    June 2, 2012
    • Yes, definitely! It is wonderful to share an adventure, and also we support each other if one of us is having a bad day. A lot of people we meet on the trail have partners but the partner couldn’t or didn’t want to come. We are grateful to be able to do this together.

      June 5, 2012
      • That’s so amazing. My boyfriend comes with me backcountry camping every year now and it just makes for an even greater experience. I love it :)

        June 6, 2012
  49. Blake Byers #

    Great shot and thoughts.

    June 2, 2012
  50. Wilden Grant #

    Nice photographs, Great work

    June 3, 2012
  51. this looks so peaceful

    June 3, 2012

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: