Tehachapi to Mile 588.2
May 29, 2017 – 21 Miles
It was nice sleeping in a comfy bed talking to my babe on Facebook Video Chat But we both knew that had to come to an end. We said our goodbyes, I got up, gathered my gear and ate some breakfast. Out of the Best Western and into a Black Silverado with the Air Force veteran named Jason. He was very kind and gave me a ride back to the trail head at 7 in the morning on memorial day. His day off. He says he does it for good karma and wouldn’t except my Starbucks offer—I didn’t have cash to offer. He is hiking the Pacific Crest Trail once he retires in 2019. He dropped off and told me this is where Cheryl Strayed started her journey too.
Many people hate on her movie Wild but I don’t even know why. After hiking this far, everyone has their own journey and experiences on the trail just like off the trail and in “real life”. She inspired many people to get out here so I don’t get what the big deal is, she had her own journey and created her own story to tell.
Back to the hike. At first I got lost like 2 miles in. It was quite confusing where the trail went. I went by some honey bee farm along the freeway, which was kind of bizzar. What ever works I guess. I finally found my way and the heat did too. That heat guy, I tell ya, he’s a front and center kind of guy, definitely likes to come right up to you and slap you right in the back of the calves.
I carried four liters of water for sixteen miles which is a liter more than normal. No water until that sixteen miles was up. I ended up drinking three but I should have drunk all four. On my way up I met a man trail named No Excuses. He was hiking SOBO and assured me the spring is in working flow. Now to just make it there without dying.
SOBO: PCT Hiker going Southbound
NOBO: PCT Hiker going Northbound
I met a few more people before making it, Cereal from Australia and Walnut from Bellingham. They were in a group of nine people and they all met each other on the trail. Pretty incredible how these groups stay together. I haven’t stayed with a group long enough to even get a trail name. I’ve had a few suggestions, but merely a suggestion. Can’t rush it or force it. Many people have forced their trail name just to get one, which they usually don’t like or just deal with it.
Well basically I made it to the water, refilled and ate. I then headed out another five miles which was passed my goal. Five less I have to do tomorrow. Oh yeah.
Mile 588.2 to Mile 612
May 30, 2017 – 24.2 Miles
The mountains started to emerge as the magenta sky lit up and the blue haze dissipated. The gradient of dark blues, pinks, and oranges were all present in the morning light. Burnt logs had soft shadows and the tall dying grass waved in the wind with its new orange tint.
I set out with a goal of 14 miles to next the water source. I wanted to get there before the heat arrived. And I did, at about 10:30 a.m. I walked along tall grass for a while and the thoughts in my head were
“Stay out of long grass!” Jurassic Park anyone?
My phones notification sound is a velociraptor calling for help. You could say I’m a fan.
As I got out of the grassy meadow and entered the forest it seemed like a fairytale—rabbits were hopping around, sunlight peaking through the trees and a light breeze was present. I stopped and listed to the wind finding its way through thick brush. The birds singing back and forth to each other. I whistled a couple of times back to them. I was present in my mind, my body and my place on the trail.
All I could think of, ironically, was how good a chicken bruschetta would be from Red Robin. I say ironically because I later found out that the water source I went to is called Robin Bird Springs. There were actually robins at the spring. Weird.
I topped off my water and ate a bag of chips. Man I was so starving leading up to the springs. This hiker hunger stuff is killing me. Not actually, just metaphorically—in case you’re worried.
Off to the next spring! There is a campground I intended on camping at but I really enjoy walking 3 to 5 miles past my goal if I’m feeling it or if the weather is nice. I ate my dinner at the water source so I wouldn’t have to carry as much. Then headed out another 3 miles. I ate tortilla soup so I basically had trail turbo aka beans for dinner aka musical..you get the point.
Shoot! I was just typing, looked up and boom! A freaking big ass cinnamon colored black bear was eyeballing me. That was sketchy, a Facebook bear burrito meme just about came true. I looked up and he sprinted real quick but not too far, so hopefully he doesn’t come back for the food!
A rattlesnake, a bear and a man named Kevin in his underwear all in one day. Trifecta. 10/10 would camp here again.
Mile 612 to Mile 634
May 31, 2017
- Mutant sized rabbit
- Rain + cloudy day = Yes!
- Water caches and alternate routes
- Cowboy Camp at the top of the ridge.
- Hope no bears take my food.
Mile 634 to Walker Pass
June 1, 2017
I woke up some good motivation to get to Walker Pass where I’d be hitchhiking to Lake Isabella for a resupply and an over night stay. it was a nice cool morning until like 9 a.m.
I noticed on my Guthook PCT App that was a cabin with water coming up, so that’s where I am going. Turns out there was a nice stream before it so I skipped the cabin, especially since it was off trail.
I ended getting in 12 miles before 10 a.m. The trail was pretty much flat, not very hard so I was trekking at a good speed. I got to Walker Pass and signed the registration book then made my way to the highway to try to hitch hike. Can I just say I am again lucky as shit? My man Burt was dropping off a group of hikers. I hopped in with him and his two big dogs—German Shepherd and a Husky. he could only take me to South Lake but that was better than nothing! That got me off the busy pass and into a town at a gas station.
As I waited at the gas station a firefighter named David gave me cash in exchange of me buying his beer. I bought his beer with a credit card because I needed cash for a bus ticket. Yes, a bus ticket. This is the end of journey on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Before I get to the bus and end this thing though, I still have to make it to Lake Isabella. I stepped out onto the hot black top and stuck my thumb out. A nice couple stopped for me, they know the area like the back of their hand from hunting. I remember him being a really fast driver and talker. They dropped me off in Lake Isabella where I would wait at a sketchy bus stop. Apparently this is a tweeker hang out hotspot. I dare bring out my trail mix in front a homeless lady with no teeth? Oh yeah, she was eyeballing my food so hard! She said, mind if I have one? I gladly gave her one but I wasn’t sure how she’d eat it. I don’t think she did eat it actually. She stuck it in her mouth and then took it out and just held it.
Thank god the bus came an hour later. It was about an hour ride the Bakersfield on an awesome windy road. I met a local named Nicholas who basically gave me a tour along the Lower Kern River. I told him he should just be a tour guide, he was good! I got dropped off at the bus station and bought my grey hound ticket to LAX in the morning. I felt bad for all the people who had to smell me during all these bus trips. I took a shower at the hotel I checked into but I am pretty sure I still stunk.
Well, this is officially the end of the PCT blog posts. I appreciate all that sponsored me and supported me during this trip. I will go back on some time and finish up the rest of the trail.
Stay tuned for some follow-up posts about gear, sponsors and being gluten-free on the trail in the future. In the mean time check our awesome shirts below!