Day 38 (Tuesday, May 24): Tylerhorse Canyon (mi 541.6) to Willow Springs Rd (mi 558.5), 16.9 miles. (up/down: +2730/-3427ft)
I packed up my pack under a blue sky, but had some clouds spitting on me. I was on trail by 6:45a and again was happily surprised with cold desert weather. I packed 6 liters of water as the next water source was Tehachapi, 35 miles away. There were two ways into town, a road in 17 miles or a key in 24. I wasn’t sure which option I’d choose, but opted to carry the extra water just in case…and it gets me ready for the 40 mile waterless stretches to come.
The morning started with a moderate climb up and down through some washed out parts of the trail until I came to a big climb. It wasn’t too terrible, but it was kicking my ass. Finally at about 10:15 I reached the top and was delighted to see some magic: chairs and water. I didn’t need the water, but was happy to sit in a chair surrounded by other hikers.
From here it was a nice hike down with some rolling hills. The wind was again brutal today and picked up as I neared Tehachapi and more wind farms. I felt drunk trying to walk through the sandy trail mixed with the winds pushing me around.
I made my way through the windmills, with even more than the day before. I reached Willow Spring Rd at about 1:45 and waited for a hitch into town with 5 others. This road was easier and safer than hitching from hwy 58. We dish have to wait too long until a pickup turned around to pick us all up!
This kind fellow was named Joel who has been living in his rv with his rescue Chihuahuas. Turns out he worked for an animal rescue and was currently working with Marley’s Mutts in the area! How crazy! I had no luck getting a pup for my event in Tehachapi and he offered to help. Even if I still can’t get a pup it was neat to meet another person with a similar mission and maybe I’ll see him at Dog Days with his pups.
He dropped off the 5 hikers to their hotel in Tehachapi and then kindly took me to the airport where I planned on staying. It was a cool, yet loud experience to stay at the airport park. Many hikers were already camped and spending their zeros eating, chatting, buying resupply and going to movies.
I knew there were hot showers but wondered where. I saw a portapotty just sitting in the middle of the lawn. Low and behold it was a beautiful hot shower! After getting cleaned up, I laid in my tent for a good two hours. Still no napping. I could have stayed in there all day, but decided I should move a little. I chatted with Tall Man from Germany and we eventually made our way to town to explore. Pretty much everything was closed, but I went to a pizza joint for a beer and yummy lemon cake.
When I got back to the airport, there was a news crew interviewing hikers. A local pilot was also giving rides. I watched from a far as planes went up and down the runway. I now wish I would have volunteered for an interview to spread my mission – oh well. I instead cooked up some dinner and socialized with more hikers. I love how nice people are-you can really pick up a genuine conversation with anyone and in a short period of time, meet people from all around the world.
I tried to stay up as late as possible, but tried to my tent around 8:30 for another night of tossing and turning and listening to blaring train horns.