Day 44, June 16, Hiker Town, 0 miles (0 km)
I stayed all day at Hiker Town. This is some kind of a hostel at the crossing of Hwy138. Down here the PCT hits the Mojave desert for the first time. The valley is called West Antelope Valley and it seems like a very sketchy one, outlaws and addicts being a big part of the population. However, inside the gates of hiker-town all is safe and good. The place however used to be owned by a Mexican cartel, about 20 years ago, until they got busted by the DEA. Back then, a couple bought the property, planning to live here. Not much later a hiker walked down from the hills to their gate asking them for only two things, water and some shade. That was the start of hiker town. (this is all hear-say, might not be 100% accurate)
Nowadays there are lots of different wooden buildings on this piece of land, created as some kind of a western town with a post-office, hotel, gun shop, sheriff’s department,… Only the post office serves it’s purpose. It’s not a real post office but in there they collect the packages that hikers sent here. All the other buildings are more or less sleeping rooms. I was sleeping in the bunkhouse, the first night accompanied by six hikers, last night only one.
During the day the local Neunach Market, about 6 miles down the road, does shuttles every hour. Great for thirsty, hungry, exhausted walkers. The owner, Jan, a big Eddy Merckx fan, bought the store last year and it seems like he’s up to the task. We want to buy, he wants to sell. That’s where hikers meet the local market. And we are always in for a soda, gatorade, beer and burger. Btw: their food was very tasty. If you ever stop by, try the Chili Verde Burrito. Delicious!
In the evening, the caretaker of Hiker Town showed up with a tv and the 2004 Pacific Crest Trail dvd. So much beauty and variety I will encounter in the next months! Looking forward to it.