Wednesday, May 21, 2014

This Section Blows - (5/20/2014)

Mile 526.6 to mile 547.2
20.6 miles

We woke up earlier than normal to a beautiful desert morning. There were lots of clouds in the sky and a orange glow to everything. It was cool and crisp with a slight breeze. 

We were on the trail, or should I say Aqueduct, around 6:45 am. It was an uneventful morning walk other than seeing several hikers in front of us and in back of us. I think we have officially been swallowed up by the 'herd' because there seems to be a lot of people around us these days. 

After 7 miles, we hit a water cache. Lap Dog, Detour, and Homegirl were already there drinking, eating, and refilling water bottles. We stopped to do the same since we heard the next water source, 6 miles away, was very silty. The next water source would be close to 20 miles from there so we would need to carry lots of water. 

The trail then took us through a wind farm and what comes with a wind farm? Wind! We love the wind. It was neat to walk near the huge wind turbines and listen to the propellers 'woosh' as they spun around. As we walked along we would leapfrog with the German girls, Homegirl, Horizon, and Backup. There was one other guy in that group but I don't remember his name. I'll update the blog when I remember. 

As the wind farm ended and we started to enter the Tehachapi mountains we had hoped that the wind would also stop. That wasn't the case and we had to fight the wind every step of the way today. 

By 3 pm we had done 18 miles which is really good for us. We had planned on camping at the 18 mile marker but the wind and the weather changed our minds. There was no place to get out of the wind other than pitching our tent in a wash. We didn't want to pitch our tent in a wash because it looked like it was going to rain and the forecast called for a 20% chance. We sat in the wash for a while trying to decided if we wanted to go on further or take our chances with the rain. We finally decided to get up and hike further and take our chances that there would be a better spot further up the trail. 

So we climbed and climbed our way up and along the side of the mountains, getting wind whipped along the way. When you are on the side of a mountain there aren't many flat spots to pitch a tent. A couple miles later we came to a ridge line that was wide enough and flat enough for us to pitch our tent. As we were setting up our tent it started to sprinkle but I think/hope that is the last of the rain. 

We had a yummy dinner of tuna and tortillas and are now curled up in our sleeping bags getting wind whipped by the tent. It is really cold and windy up here and I think we are in for a long night. 

Tomorrow we have 11 miles to do before we get to Tehachapi via Willow Springs Road. There Mandie's dad will pick us up, he lives in the area, and take us to his place where we will have a Zero. We haven't Zero'd since Big Bear, some 300 miles ago, so we are looking forward to it.