Day 29: Mile 558 to 566.4 (8.4 miles, 13.5km). Hitch into Tehachapi
It was warm last night. Probably one of the warmest on trail so far. I made good use of my quilt to open it up as a blanket and have my feet stick out.
For this trip I opted to take an Enlightened Equipment, Revelation 20 degree quilt over a traditional sleeping bag. Some of the benefits of this are that it’s lighter, (as it is opened at the back, with no material or down that wasted by being crushed by body weight; and there is no zipper); and can be opened up like a blanket unlike a sleeping bag that has one mode.
Cowboy camping makes for a quick pack up and and I was off by 5:15am.
The trail continued through the wind farm area with the constant whirl of the large blades as background noise. This is the largest wind farm in the world and it sure seems like it. Feels like we’ve been walking through wind turbines for two and a half days now.
It didn’t take long to reach Hwy 58 and the end of the SoCal maps. From here the trail continues onto the Sierra map series although technically I think there is still another 140 mile of desert to go before Kennedy Meadows.
I reached the Hwy alone and arranged a ride into town and was soon joined by CousCous and another guy from France. On the way in the driver kindly called past the post office which is 1.5 mile from the town centre and allowed me to collect my bounce box. I didn’t even ask for the PO diversion, he just went when I said I had a box waiting for me.
I will Nero in town today and take a day off tomorrow.
Looking at my ETA on my bounce box I’m 5 days ahead of schedule on account of now being used to long days and getting ahead on mileage. But this work to my advantage. Tehachapi is a staging area to get organised for the Sierra and having taking an extra day off will allow me to do this.
Hikers can post gear and food to Kennedy Meadows (KM), the entry point to the Sierras, but can’t mail anything out as there is no post office. KM is also basically just an outpost with one small shop making for a very expensive and limited resupply. So from Tehachapi I’ll swap out some of my desert gear for snow gear (including things like shoe spikes, warmer base layers and a silk inner sheet for added sleeping warm), even though it means carrying heavier items for the next 150 miles; send a food resupply to KM and forward my bounce box onto Mammoth Lakes.
Prior to heading to the US I also enlisted the help of fellow 2015/6 Te Araroa hikers Vicky and Peter, to help out with an ice axe which they have mailed to me at KM. They have also allowed me to use their address as my return US address for any resupply packages I send. (Thank you very much guys, the support has been awesome.)
Nothing much else to do today other than get cleaned up and do some shopping.
Think I could do with a shower.