October 8th, 2018
Mm 587.5 to mm 566.5 then ride to Tehachapi
Distance: 21 miles
0615 – 1430
I slept well in my camp among the scrub, with the wind turbines standing watch on the ridge above. They make a low and constant hum…good white noise. I would not be opposed to having them in my backyard. I also heard a great horned owl a few times, otherwise it was still.
At Golden Oaks spring, I ran into Toc again. He has hiked the PCT and other trails several times already and appears to be a bit of a trailebrity (trail celebrity). This was his first time going SOBO. He gave me some tips on upcoming sections. It’s nice to meet some of the veterans of the trail.
The rest of the day on the trail was pretty uneventful. It dropped down from the scrub into barren desert again. Looking down into the valley, I could see thousands of wind turbines. It got a bit hotter as I neared HWY 58. I distracted myself by giving my parents a call. I didn’t realize that I hadn’t talked to them since Tahoe.
The HWY went to Tehachapi, which is where I needed to resupply. I easily got a ride into town, even though there was little traffic at the overpass. My ride said he stopped because he felt sorry for me, standing in the wrong place. So I asked him where it was that most people get rides. He said just a few miles down the road and I later figured out that there is another junction south at Willow Springs Rd, a further 8 miles down the trail. That makes sense for NOBOs but would have meant another 3 hours of walking for me. There are a lot of things that make sense for NOBOs but not SOBOs, but everyone is trained to think only one way.
I got dropped off at the Dollar Tree, of which I am becoming quite the patron. I can get all my junkfood there for really cheap. For instance, I got a 6 pack of honeybuns at 180 calories each. That’s 1080 calories for $1. I have been reading all the labels, trying to find the densest junk. It’s been working, as I haven’t felt like I am starving.
I was going to do a quick in and out of town but I had texted Stellar and found that he was staying with Kuba at a trail angel’s house. He wrote a whole paragraph about how awesome the place was but I stopped reading at ‘hot tub’. I was sold. Just as I came out of the dollar store, a huge Lincoln rolled up and parked awkwardly. It was Stellar and Kuba, borrowing a car. Wow, what service! For the second town in a row, I had wheels in town!
We did more shopping, then went back to the house. It was in another development well outside of town called Stallion Springs. The guys couldn’t remember exactly where the place was so we drove around for awhile, looking at all the nice homes. Finally we found it and made ourselves at home.
The owner, Mark or Mad Max, is a section hiker that Stellar met in Washington. He had invited him to come stay when he passed through. He and his wife Cory have the most beautiful home, with a yard overlooking a field of oak trees. Elk routinely browse in the back and I watched a great horned owl hunting as I sat in the hot tub. It was epic.
Stellar, Marc, Cory, and me
Mark later came home and grilled up a huge platter of carne asada. We had a real sit-down meal with his family, telling trail stories. It was one of the top 3 meals I have had on the trail and such an unexpected treat. I went to sleep in a bed and listening to elk bugaling.