Monthly Archives: May 2014

Day 37 – Tehachapi

May 30th
Miles: 551.7 to 558.7

Woke up with other hikers passing right by my tent looking in. Lazy boy was first, then the Australian couple, then Wilbur and Shady and BallHawk and then some people I didn’t recognize which is becoming increasingly rare.

Walking the trail down was awesome through the wind mills.  They are as far as you can see and 12 stories tall, there were workers cleaning the blades.

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We got down to the highway and hitched in to downtown Tehachapi. A nice lady had stopped and picked up three of us and got us to the burger spot cafe in downtown. I ate a burger, coke, fries and then a “giant” shake which probably had 2,000 calories in its 32 ounces. It was so good I just destroyed it all.

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Now we are in the best western plus in a room for six. Decent room, no room service but a nice pool and jacuzzi, laundry and the room is nice.

I will take some pics after I charge my phone.

After being on the trail taking a good shower the dirt seems to take forever to come off. You stand there and dirt keeps coming off and you are unsure from where it is coming from, it is crazy.

We all take turns showering,  it is awesome. Everyone is excited about being clean and not stinking. Leaving the room to get a drink from the hall the room smells horrible from us. Cleanliness is a chore for hikers and we are all almost ready.

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We also have a birthday today, Giggles is 23.

Time for pool and hot tub then more food and some drinks.

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Town stops are amazing.

Ended up going to sushi for dinner and then we all went out to a bar for Giggles birthday.

Day 36 – the trail to Tehachapi.

May 29th
Miles: 534.9 to 551.3

Woke early having slept well under the giant windmills. They are huge, perhaps 15 stories tall, maybe higher, with red blinking lights on them for aircraft or something. I have slept soundly every night since getting my new tent, it really makes all the difference.

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We walk up out of the Mojave valley which felt like the face of the sun the day before and run across a PCT trail crew, we all thank them, they are making this possible.

We get to a stream seven miles up and mid – day everyone stops to rest under a tree we find. I have a good time comparing us to a baboon troop under trees in Africa. The differences we do this same behavior are not large in reality and are for the same reasons.

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Today we have another water cache in eight miles from this spot and then we get to highway 58 and hitch to Tehachapi.  We chose that over Mojave just for ease of getting in and out and that we don’t have anyone picking up a package in Mojave at the hotel there. Technically we should be doing resupply but we all have too much food so mostly just picking up snacks and drink mixes.

I am a day behind my schedule at this point because of various reasons,  mostly waiting on friends to catch up. Hopefully we can pick up some time soon, though we are all done with the desert and are craving the Sierra.

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We all hiked to the next water cache up a very serious climb and Larry the cache owner came by we helped carry water down and played with his dogs.

Finally we hiked up to about seven miles from the road overlooking the wind farm below, the road is where we will hitch into Tehachapi. We all sat up eating dinner and laughing. I laugh a lot with this group, it is good.

Day 35 – the face of the sun

May 28th
Miles: 517.8 to 534.9

Woke with roosters bellowing, birds blasting and dogs barking. A hiker town morning.

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Ate breakfast and watched people leave. One of my cohorts was sick and thinking of staying at hiker town to rest up. After some time Waffles decided to come with us even though he was feeling (and looked) like hell. We gathered our things and moved out.

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We got down the aqueduct and the heat hit us, it was brutal. I have been hiking more with the main group as Refills has been wanting to do more miles at different times. The main hiking group we have been keeping pace with is Waffles and Brian from Belgium,  Mike from Sweden And Giggles from Portland Oregon. Hopefully we catch up with Free Refill at Kennedy Meadows as I know he is not going to Tehachapi.

Waffles stopped short and sat down, we didn’t notice until later and stopped to wait.  He caught up and because we all were in full break mode he went on. He mentioned finding shade and laying down.

We hiked on further and the aqueduct turned to being closed and we stopped for lunch at the only real shade we could find. It was blistering hot as I tried to string up my ground cloth for shade.

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As we were leaving the German film crew doing the documentary on the PCT came up to film us half dead in the heat and offered us Cliff bars, we passed. We all wished they had soda’s.

Continuing on we ran across a private “ranch”  which had a bunker and shade. We took a break and left all as we found it.

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We got to the wind mills at the aqueduct end and waited for waffles,  and waited.  We kept asking everyone where he was and nobody had seen him.

“I am starting to get worried” Brian was saying as we waited and looked at the bullet holes in everything that could possibly have bullet holes in it.

“Maybe a car picked him up and took him to the hospital?” I say.

We keep asking everyone that comes along. The following day we find out there is a trail rumor of missing hikers from Belgium.

Finally we see him come along after we set up camp in a leeward side of a hill. (Careful camping in a wind farm). He had climbed under a tree with his fever and passed out for four hours and we walked past him.

We sleep well knowing our friends are okay, under the giant windmills as they turn and turn forever.

Day 34 – hikertown

May 27th
Miles: 478.6 to 517.6 (bypass detour)

Woke in the woods at the Andersons,  set up my tent after trying to cowboy with spikey leaves falling on my face.

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Got coffee and pancakes in the kitchen and sat down to determine how I would get past the Powerhouse fire closure. The closure is in place becase the trail was entirely destroyed in those sections and the trail is actually very dangerous. The unofficial detour is a twenty, or so, mile dangerous roadwalk which I do not feel the need to do. It is not the PCT, it is not official, it is not something I need to do.

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So, I caught a ride here to hiker town which is this interesting little place in the middle of the Mojave desrt. Here we are waiting on some who feel the need to roadwalk and those who feel the need to do a partial roadwalk. Luckily for us the weather is going to cool down over the next week so our last stretch in the desert will be alright.  We might get some heat the last couple days before Kennedy Meadows.

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Got a ride to a little store and got a burger and a coke, snagged some strawberry milk which sounded awesome and strangely was.

Now sitting in the garage here with everyone waiting on the heat. There are puppies also in the next building over.

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Awesome.

The rough plan is to possibly night hike out to get past the 20 mile aqueduct walk which will be in full sun otherwise.

It depends on if the rest of our crew catches up.

Day 33 – to the Andersons

May 26th
Miles:  462.5 to 478.6

Woke early, ants on the tent. I am really glad I did not cowboy camp and my tent was easy to set up.

We walked through the heat,  intense heat stopping several times to cool down, and then finally to the Oasis water cache which has beer and soda and plenty of water. We all sat here and waited out the heat.

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Basically we sat here for a long time. The heat was oppressive today and nobody wanted to leave.

Finally everyone started to get ready and then another lull waiting for possible drop in heat.

Alas, time to move.

After what seemed like forever I get to the road and everyone piles into a van and off we go to Casa De Luna,  the Andersons,  trail angels where everyone claps as we come in, we are put in Hawaiian shirts and fed taco salad.  It is good with beers.

Then setting up camp in the woods behind their place. Cowboy camping it is tonight.

I am going to be early,  I am wary with my damaged toe and worried about my ankle as well as my new shoes.

Hopefully I can sleep in a bit tomorrow.

Day 32 – minor injury, will see

May 25th
Miles: 454.5 to 462.5

On one of the bikes coming back from dinner I was in flip flops and hit a rock with my toe.

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Going to see how it is and clean it up. I may need to take an extra day.

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Agua Dulce is a small small town with a grocery store, several restaurants and a hardware store.  They are super PCT hiker friendly.

I cleaned my foot, got Neosporin in it and felt better.  I watched Goodfellas, Deliverance and Taxi Driver in the hut to keep off my feet.

Finally we decided to go, it was hot as hell. We all hugged Donna Saufley and thanked her for being so amazing and took photos.  Then we all piled into a large van and went to get pizza before hitting the trail. This allowed it to cool down considerably.  Saw some other hikers who were too late getting there when they reached the 50 limit.  Felt bad they missed it.

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We hiked through into the dark until ten and stopped to pitch tents and sleep. We got a very late start out so made few miles.

It is good to be back on trail and using the new tent.

Day 31 – special zero at the Saufley’s

May 24th
Miles 0

Woke a little late at the Saufley’s,  tired, things hurt and I have things to do today.

1) get gromits in my Tyvek ground cloth so I can string it up easier for makeshift shade/shelter and also stake it down when used as a ground sheet. (Done, did it myself)

Observe my handiwork.

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2)  organize my food pack and deal with resupply. This is a hassle,  my pack will be heavy again.

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3) go back into town to get extra items at the store, like powdered milk and grape nuts. Maybe

4) shower at the hiker shack (I am on the list and waiting) (done) finding a scale I discover I have lost 20lbs.

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Here is a diagram of the hiker haven I did up.

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Internet station

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Dogs

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Entryway and loaner clothes

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Garage

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Info in garage

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The vines

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Tents with cots

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Toilets and loaner bikes

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More of the arbor and the tents area

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The fire pit and tree

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Pack rack by the shack

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Hiker boxes by the shack

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View from the shack

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A cot by the vines

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The Saufley’s place is pretty amazing.

So so nice to have a full rest day here.