Pacific Crest Trail Journals

Agua Dulce to Tehachapi

May 31 – June 5, 2010

After leaving the Saufley’s I hiked all of 16 miles before arriving at the Hiker Oasis – a “water” cache maintained by the Andersons, another hugely popular trail angel couple. After four hours of resting in the shade of the oasis and rehydrating, I dragged myself out of my camp chair and walked the remaining 8 miles to the Andersons house. I hadn’t planned on taking a zero at the Andersons but since the Sierras were still blanketed in feet of snow I made the tough decision to stay at their house, the Casa de Luna, and rest for a bit.

36 hours, two taco salad dinners, two pancake breakfast dinners, one round of disk golf, and a couple of beers later I pulled myself out of the hiker vortex and set back out on the trail. The section from the Anderson’s to Tehachapi is notoriously not ideal so I planned to cover the ~85 miles in three days in order to get it over with. After a day of hiking in the mountains the trail dropped me several thousand feet into a section that crosses a stretch of Mojave flatflands before reaching the Tehachapi Mountains. This section skirts the property boundary of Tejon Ranch, the second largest private landownder in the U.S., and is set to be moved into greener pastures in the near future but for the time being it travels across hot and unpleasant desert terrain, mostly along a dirt road with parellels the Las Angeles aqueduct. I hurried through this as quickly as possible and logged my first 30+ mile day in the process. On the third day I awoke to winds whipping across the desert at 40 mph (my unprofessional estimate) and hiked the next 7 miles directly into this wind before climbing into the Tehachapi Mountains and out of the wind. The early afternoon consisted of relatively easy and windless hiking through forest fire burned areas before dropping me down into Tehachapi Pass where the wind quickly regained its strength. Upon reaching the first road leading to Tehachapi, Willow Springs Road, I was more tired muscularly than I had been at any point previously on the trail.

I quickly caught a ride into town and set myself up in a Best Western before walking to the closest burger restaurant and ordering the biggest, juiciest, meatiest burger on their menu. I met up with several other hikers the next morning and was able to catch a ride to the local Albertson’s and post office from Green Tortuga’s mom (thanks!) who was in town visiting him. From Tehachapi it was approximately 140 miles to Kennedy Meadows, my next resupply location and the ‘real’ beginning of the Sierra Nevadas, so I stocked up on 7 days of food and headed out of town with a heavy pack.

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