Monday, June 11, 2012

In Techachapi, CA (Mile 558)

Made it to Tehachapi, CA. We have hiked 104 miles since setting out from Agua Dulce last Sunday night, 7 days ago!  Below is a photo of Heavy with our delicious and well earned breakfast this morning at the Apple Shed Restaurant.

The Mojave desert floor crossing is now behind us.  We got lucky with the weather, as it was not too hot, with highs in the mid-70s.  However, on the way out of the Mojave it was incredibly windy.  It was tiring work to climb the ridge in that wind!  We walked past a whole bunch of windmills for the last 2 days, and there are more windmills to come.  According to Yogi's PCT guidebook, between here and Kennedy Meadows (the entrance to the Sierra) it is always this windy, hence all the windmills.  Guess we'll find out if that's true.

We made trail angel stops along the way at the Andersons' and in a fun place called Hikertown, a dusty desert outpost that looked like a Wild West town with chickens, but is actually all a hiker hostel.  Sadly, we forgot our cookware there, so we are renting a car today and driving back to retrieve it. 

We are staying in Sierra Ranch motel in Tehachapi till tomorrow, so feel free to contact us.  We are also getting food for the next 6 days' hike to Walker Pass, from which we'll hitch a ride to Lake Isabella.  We are excited to go there since my mom's name is Isabella!

We're happy with our daily mileage so far, given that I just got on the trail and my flat feet were a big worry to me before I started.  Here are the deets:

Last Sunday: We started with a cool 5 mile evening hike from Agua Dulce and to a beautiful campsite up a ridge, past some buzzing power lines, and with the full moon lighting the way.

Monday: 18 miles to another windy campsite near Green Valley, where Casa de Luna (aka the Andersens' house) awaited.

Tuesday: 2 miles, a short hike to the road, and then we spent the day relaxing at Casa de Luna.

Wednesday: Terri A. dropped us off at the trail, told us to take care of each other out there and hugged us. We headed up the ridge, from the Andersens to Hikertown, a 40 mile hiking stretch in all, we did 13 miles or so this day.

Thursday: 17 hot miles in the mountains, with a long siesta nap in our tent in the afternoon.  This day, Heavy passed the 500 mile mark on the PCT since he started at the border.  We celebrated with whiskey and dinner at a beautiful open campsite overlooking the night lights of the Mojave below.

Friday: 10 miles in the morning, down into the desert to Hikertown.  We rested for the afternoon, ate an amazing meal cooked by the Hikertown caretaker, and headed out around 7 pm, to do 11 more very flat desert road miles.  This made for 21 miles that day, my first 20+ mile day on the PCT.

Saturday: 13 miles along the desert floor, then up the windy ridge and into the most beautiful campsite I have seen yet!  Tylerhorse Canyon was a respite from the wind and had an ice-cold stream, where we filtered water and I cooled my aching feet.  This was the last water source before our exit to Tehachapi, so we took a lot of water with us for the entire next day. 
This day we hiked and camped with a woman with the trail name Listener.  Listener is 74 years old, thru-hiking alone, and if she finishes, is likely going to set a record as the oldest person to do so.  She is one amazing lady, more about her later.

Sunday: 17 hot and exposed, waterless miles, up and over the ridge and down to Tehachapi-Willow Springs Road.  We got pretty hot, but carried plenty of water; also came upon a nice water cache that was unexpected and very welcome.  Got to the road just before sunset, at 7 30 pm, and hitchhiked to Tehachapi with a nice local who told us more about the awesome windmills we'd been seeing.

The other pics below show the desert for the last two days.  We walked for 2 days along an aqueduct, and Heavy (Dan) walks over it in the photo.   More pictures to come later!

Please excuse any typos, as I'm typing on my cellphone as Heavy drives the dirt road to retrieve our pots.

Cheers! (aka Marina)

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