Thursday, May 22, 2014

To Tehachapi And Beyond - (5/21/2014)

Mile 547.2 to mile 558.5
11.4 miles

Last night ended up being a very windy night which made for a long night. The tent held up great in the wind but we did have an issue with one of our trekking poles falling; we were using it for extra support. Turns out the extra support was important in keeping the tent from laying down on top of us. We fixed that and just rode out the rest of the night. 

The morning was just as windy but when the sun comes up everything seems to get just a little better, a little easier, a little less intimidating. We quickly packed up so that we could get on our way. Thoughts of a shower, real food, and a bed was our motivator. We said goodbye to Horizon and Backup, who had decided to camp next to us, and headed off up the hill. 

There was about 2 miles left until we crested over the top of this mountain but most of the elevation gain was done yesterday. We had amazing views of the desert floor and wind farm that we had previously traversed. The sky was filled with big puffy clouds and the air was chilly. It was a great morning to  be on the trail. 

At the top of the hill we came across a water cache that was supplied by Daniel and Larry. We aren't sure who Daniel and Larry are but we thank you. Mandie and I each grabbed a bottle of water and a chair and drank ourselves silly. It was strong water so it didn't take much. We then picked ourselves up and stumbled back onto the trail. 

The trail took us through a previously burned out area, from which fire I am not sure. As we hiked around the skeletons of burned out trees I imagined a fire racing through the area with the help of such strong winds. The firefighters must have had a battle on their hands.

It seemed like each time we decided to take a break to rest or eat something there was an obstacle in our way, either we were on the side of the mountain with no place to sit, ants crawling all over the flat areas, or there were strong winds. We just couldn't find a good spot, so we kept on hiking. 

Eleven miles on not much more than a Pop Tart makes us cranky hikers. Mandie did a bit of cryking and I cursed under my breath. We eventually made it to Tehachapi Willow Springs Road where we saw Coppertone, the Trail Angel who has root beer floats, waiting at the Trail Head. Again we were too early for the floats, maybe the third time will be a charm. 

After crossing the road and getting to a safe place to hitch, I held up our 'Hiker To Town' sign and the first truck that passed us pulled over. A nice man and his dog gave us a ride to Denny's in Tehachapi where we would meet Mandie's dad. We of course ate while we waited for him to arrive. He showed up with his wife Di and whisked us off to their home in Bakersfield. 

There we did our usual chores like showering and laundry. We watched a silly mindless movie and then they fed us an amazing salad with garlic bread, and fresh strawberries for dessert. It was a nice and relaxing evening that was much needed. 

I'm off to go sleep in a warm soft bed with real pillows! I am so excited.