May 20, 2017
Mile 549.02 – Tehachapi (549.02-558.51)
The stars last night were incredible. I laid awake for a while just watching them, shooting stars streaking across the desert sky. It was really amazing. I woke up this morning on the desert floor as the sky was beginning to light up with pastel blues, pinks, and purples. As I slowly started getting ready for the day, the trail angel pulled up in his truck, with his wife, and a steaming hot pot of coffee. We all gathered around to drink and share stories. It was a really lovely morning.
We got hiking around 7am, but since we had less than 10 miles to town the late start didn’t bother me at all. The trail wound through an exposed burn area, and more large wind turbines. We stopped in a shady spot a few miles from the road for our second breakfast break, and then continued on. It wasn’t long before we arrived at the road to Tehachapi. We stood on the side of the road with our thumbs out, and it wasn’t long at all before a couple of older ladies pulled over to pick us up. They were going into Tehachapi, and agreed to drop us off right at Red House BBQ, where we were going to meet up with Cougar and Dr. McDirty. The magical hitchhiking powers continue! They were so sweet. They had driven out from Bakersfield, because they had always wanted to do some hiking on the PCT, and they were super excited about it.
We got dropped off at the BBQ place, which is super hiker-friendly, and allows hikers to camp in some teepees out back for free. Cougar and Dr. McDirty had gotten dropped off there last night after the trail magic, and are getting back on trail after our zero tomorrow! The trail family is back together!! We were super hungry, so we decided to get some lunch at the restaurant. I had a catfish sandwich (officially gone pescatarian for this hike, oops) with fried okra and it was freaking amazing. After lunch, we walked over to the Best Western Mountain Inn and got a room for the next two nights. It’s a pretty nice room for a decent price, and the best part, it includes breakfast. So exciting.
We hung out in the room for a long time, and when we started to get cabin fever, we wandered over to the sushi place on the other side of the parking lot to get dinner. I have to say, I never imagined I would be eating sushi on the trail. It was actually reallyyy good. They even offered bowls of free steamed rice for hikers, and I dumped some soy sauce on mine and devoured it before the sushi even arrived. After dinner, we got some beers and scratch cards from the gas station next door. A good friend and I used to be obsessed with the crossword scratch cards, and I hadn’t done one in forever. I didn’t win anything, but it was still really fun. We were total hiker trash hanging out in the hotel parking lot drinking and doing scratch cards. We also stretched, and I discovered I can still do a headstand press, which was really exciting because I’ve been worrying about losing all of my core and upper body strength. Before I started the hike, I had high hopes of doing lots of yoga on trail, but that definitely hasn’t been happening. I should try harder to do it more often though.
We’re now laying in bed watching TV and being lazy. I’m so ready for a zero tomorrow. My body has definitely been feeling the past few days and I need a good rest. So excited for free breakfast tomorrow.