Thursday, May 4 — day 39

PCT mile 549.00 to 558.51

We awoke before dawn and while packing were joined by Rex, Tatters, Echo and Corky. They were suitably amazed by the Trail Magic at the PCT mile 549 water cache. We hit the trail and soon I was leading with the thought of cold drinks and BBQ on my mind. After a few more miles of up, we finally ran out of mountain and the trail started going down. We saw houses nearby the top that we presume belonged to the Trail Angels.

Here are some view shots: down to another set of wind farms

in another set of wind farm turbines

The fire that raged through here left a lot of tall stumps

And a view of a ranch in a green valley

I started off hiking behind another I will not name but noted that he/she shuffled their feet while waking, creating a dust cloud for those who followed.  I silently gave them a new trail name: Pigpen (from the Charlie Brown comics).  I decided to speed up and stop eating trail dust.

I hiked the fastest so far this trip and by 9:30 am I had hiked the 9.5 miles down to the road. I sat, ate breakfast, drank water and waited for the others to arrive. After a while Medic showed up. We had a decision to make: we can hitchhike to Tehachapi here, or pick off 8 more very dry miles to another road and hitchhike to Tehachapi from there. It was getting very hot, and we know the temperature will be dropping over the next few days, and well, there’s fresh food and water so close, so we wimped out and decided to head directly to Tehachapi.  As we were about to go, the biggest King Snake I have ever seen glided by slowly, but when I tried to get my camera ready he/she took off into a bush so fast – sorry, no photo.

It did not take long to catch a ride, and we learned that the people of Tehachapi are so nice! Our driver is a local who gave us a crash tour of the city and dropped us off at the Post Office. Medic has packages of snow equipment (heavy boots, crampons, ice axe and snow gaiters) arriving here that he needs to forward to Kennedy Meadows.  We found a very helpful guide for people just like us:

Tehachapi is a spread out town and the Post Office is one one edge of town, so we hitched a ride back to town he center where there are restaurants and hotels. We grabbed a room at one of our he multiple Best Western’s and showered and laundered our clothes. Too bad I don’t have extra shorts or I could have gone for a dip in the pool. 

We headed out to the supermarket and the Big 5 for resupply foods. I’ve been eating a dried oat bar and a Lara or Luna bar for breakfast, plus I have Starbucks Via should I want a coffee. I got tired of instant oatmeal and pop-tarts after a few week.

For lunch., which is not at a scheduled time but is usually snacking all day, I have nuts, beef jerky, a Snickers bar, misc candy, and a Knd bar. Dinner is salami, string cheese, corn nuts and a cookies for dinner. Medic gave me a big bar of Swiss Milk Chocolate so I now have 2 squares as dessert. I sometimes have Good Earth tea.  I know, not the best diet, but so far so good!  Anyways, I pig out when in town.

We returned to the hotel to sort the food. I also tried to challenge my food quantity because it looks and weighs too much to be 4 days of food — I cut a few items but still think I have too much.
The sunset tonight was great, as usual

We visited the Tehachapi evening Farmers Market and bought fresh fruit and sampled the local micro-breweries IPA — very good! Dinner was at the Red House as recommended by one of my blog readers who lives here. The pork ribs and brisket was fantastic!

We slept well last that night!

Thanks for reading!

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