From the mile 549 water cache to Tehachapi willow springs road
The whole crew rolled into the cache last night, then rolled out before we woke up. Bob and the Canadians are gone too. Bringing up the rear again. Wouldn’t want to break form.
We have our rocket boosters on this morning – we speed our way downhill, through more windmills and grass and trees and stuff. Eight miles, bam! We’re at Tehachapi Willow Springs road.
The plan is to hike 16 miles to the highway, then hitch twelve
miles west to Tehachapi for resupply. But here, eight miles earlier, is a trail angel who just offered us a ride. Eight more miles, then an iffy hitch? Or ten minutes to showers and food?
I know that if we take this ride, our next day out of Tehachapi is a 25 mile stretch with no water. The siren’s call of town wins.
The trail angel, Daniel, turns out to be the same trail angel who maintains the mile 549 water cache. He’s a carpenter who’s been working up in the mountains building cabins for over 35 years. He came across a hiker stumbling around, horrible dehydrated, and that’s how he found out about the PCT. “When the area burned a few years back, I started putting out a basket of green apples,” he tells us. “Everything black with those bright green apples – like a mirage.”
He drops us off at the bakery where we are immediately accosted by another trail angel, asking if we need a ride. We’re good for now, but we take his number for tomorrow. We end up checking in at the Santa Fe motel across the street, which has very badly stained carpets, but seems ok. It has many good points, like being across the street from the bakery, where I buy a sandwich add big as my head and a cream puff the size of my face. I can’t help myself from groaning in ecstasy while eating the cream puff, cream all over my face, J laughing at me. I’m sure it’s the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten.
The motel also offers bike rentals for five bucks, so we get bikes for the couple miles to the grocery store. The shortcut that the guy the motel told us about takes us through a huge dirt field, then through a gully. J hesitates, then rides through it. “I shouldn’t have worn a skirt,” I think. “This is exactly how I broke my arm in high school, except with roller blades,” I think. I look around – nobody. So I tie my skirt up around my waist, hesitate, then go. Whoooo-ee! Living on the wild side!
We get our chores done in time for J to watch the Stanley cup match, during which he is entirely useless. Double overtime, you have got to be kidding me. Back on the trail tomorrow.
More windmills, whoopee.
Filthy hiker hands. Time for a shower.