Today was a going to town day, as the goal was to reach the small town of Tehachapi. It is funny how you are looking forward to getting back to civilization, but shortly after you’ve set foot there you want to be back on trail and get restlessness about not getting nearer Canada sets in.
There were no reliable water sources between here and the highway back to Mohave or Tehachapi, so I packed out four liters for the 25 mile stretch, but despite getting up early it quickly got warm and I grew slightly anxious about whether I had taken enough. I mean not in the way that I was at risk about getting dehydration problems but just so that I would have to ration it out. Luckily there was unexpected trail magic with water, cake and a boiled eggs(!), so I got another liter just to be sure. In the end there were two additional water caches and I didn’t even drink the final liter, but now we are getting ahead of ourselves. The trail wasn’t taxing, but then again there was not a lot in terms of scenery either (but not too shabby either). Part of the stretch was through another large windmill farm. There were a lot of windmills from the Danish windmill manufacturer “Vestas”, which one of my friends at one time had worked with.
Later there was a nice third encounter with the Christian missionary and trail angel CopperTone, who had moved shop again. No other hikers were there so I got to talk a bit with him and thank him for the first time we met and he really saved the day. He liked to sometimes sit and look at all the surrounding windmills, which he found hypnotic. I had a root beer float again and a nice break.
A lot of hikers got off by hitchhiking from the nearby road to town and potentially skipping the next eight miles by getting back via the freeway there. I didn’t want to skip any part of the trail as I ideally want to have walked a continuous stretch all the way from Mexico to Canada and therefore walked on into a warm and slightly boring stretch, I made it to the highway, where I would need to hitch from the rarely used overpass as it logically isn’t legal to hitch from the highway (which would be equivalent to the Danish “motorvej”). There was alternatively a bus going nearby a couple of times a day but no information as to if it was running here on Memorial Day and their offices closed. This would therefore potentially be a difficult hitch, and the first real one I had attempted, but lo and behold only approximately ten to fifteen minutes later a car drove off the ramp at three people came out. One of them asked if I was hiking the PCT and I answered that I was, but currently was trying to get to Tehachapi. They then asked me if I needed a ride. Awesome! Thank you so much. I am sorry that I forgot your names. Your kind deed will however not be forgotten. I can promise you that! They were out there because they were interested in the PCT and that overpass (apparently) was exactly where Sheryl Strayed started her journey. Strayed wrote a popular book on her journey which was later also the basis of a film. Though I had done some hiking before the latter was actually was actually what got me interested in the PCT.
In Tehachapi I checked into a Best Western hotel and relaxed.
Assorted flowers along the trail