PCT DAY 29: Mile 553.5 – Mile 558.5
Thursday May 12, 2016: 5 miles (8 km)
Our day started at 5.00am when I reached to close the hood on my sleeping bag as I was feeling cold. Touching the outside of my bag I realised it was wet. Hammers’ bag was worse. We slept without the rainfly on the tent, same as yesterday, except that today we were at higher elevation. If there is one thing I look forward to at the end of each day it is getting into my toasty warm sleeping bag. I can’t stand the idea of my sleeping bag getting wet. But today I was was OK, knowing we only had a short hike before we got to a hotel at Tehachapi. As nice as it is to fall asleep looking at the stars, a warm and dry sleeping bag is even nicer.
We had a super short hike along the side of a mountain with more wind turbines on the other side. The spring flowers carpeted the mountain side. I had to stop myself from taking yet more pictures of the beautiful carpet of colour and the majestic white towers of the wind turbines.
We got to Willow Spring Creek Rd which leads to Tehachapi and waited to get a ride for the 9 miles into town. Less then 5 minutes later a car stopped. Unfortunately he had no room for us but offered us water and oranges. So unbelievably kind of him. Less then a minute later another car pulled up and we were on our way. Great guy, on his way home from work as a diesel engine mechanic. Twenty minutes after getting off the trail, we were in Henry’s Cafe eagerly waiting for the chocolate milkshake we ordered and then breakfast. While having breakfast we made friends with Rick “Big Red” who is starting out on a section hike tomorrow. He gave us a ride to our hotel and his phone number to contact him when we get to Mammoth Lakes.
We are staying at the Best Western which is not too far from stores we need. And we were so lucky they gave us a room as soon as we arrived.
So happy to get our laundry done and have a shower, all before lunch. We met up with Jim with whom we have been hiking on and off over the past few weeks. We also got to meet his son Connor and daughter-in- law Ellen, who drove out from LA to meet up with him. It was so lovely to meet a part of Jims family we’ve heard so much about while out on the trails.
It was grocery shopping next for our next 7-day resupply to Kennedy Meadows and then time for dinner. We shared a lovely Japanese meal with Jim at Midori Sushi right by our hotel. Jim is heading off tomorrow while we are planning a complete rest day. Hope to catch up again before too long.
I can’t believe it is only another 145 miles, through the Mojave Desert, before we hit the Sierra mountains. The time seems to have gone by so fast. There is a lot of apprehension amongst hikers we’ve spoken to about the crossing of the high passes in the Sierra. Varying reports about the level of snow and conditions overall. Our preference is to go through if it is safe to do so. And we don’t want to be put off by all the speculation especially when we are still more then a week away.