*Hello everyone! Sorry it has been so long since we have posted, turns out there was no wifi at Kennedy Meadows, or cell phone service, so everything had to wait until now. We are currently in Independence but the posts that will be going up over the next couple of days should fill you in on what we have been up to from Tehachapi to now.
So last time we checked in we were the Night Walkers. We are done with that now. That ended in a bang after we found ourselves in Tehachapi at seven o’clock in the morning, aimlessly wandering around an Albertsons making terrible food decisions. We had decided to go no cook for the last four days of the desert, due to a large amount of long water carries, but trying to put together our first ever no cook resupply after twenty two miles of hiking and zero sleep… It was a shit show to say the least. The only good thing that came out of it was that we looked so pathetic multiple people offered to give us a ride to our hotel. Of course, once we got to our hotel the owner wouldn’t let us into our room until eleven, so we hung around his portico looking like vagrants. When we finally got into our hotel room we blasted the AC and passed out. Until seven o’clock that night. Cameron and I probably would have never woken up but Kyle came back from running errands in time to get us out of bed and to the Burger Spot for some grub before they closed. Our goal that night was to stay up until morning, in keeping with our night hiking schedule. However, the television had no good channels and my parents couldn’t stay up all night to chat on the phone so around one o’clock in the morning we became very interested in the weather over the next couple of days. It looked like it was going to cool off a bit. Everyone was saying it was going to cool off a bit. We were sleepy so we decided it was going to cool off a bit and made the decision to return to day hiking. Back to bed we went.
The next day our night hiking really came back to get me. I got sick? I say that with a question mark because it was weird. Out of no where I got super nauseaous. Cameron blamed the twelve NutterButters I had downed. I assumed giardia. Kyle assumed I just didn’t want to go to the post office with him and bounce our extra gear ahead. That really wansn’t the case. We had decided that since we had to carry so much water over the next stint of days we would send everything we could get away with bouncing to Onyx. That meant sleeping bag liners, extra clothes, rain pants, pots, stove, keyboard and iPad. Lighter packs that would then be made heavy again by six or seven liters of water. Joy. My nausea stuck around all night, only allowing me to eat some miso soup before bedtime. I didn’t know how I felt in the morning so we decided to just head out and see what happened.
The first two days out of Tehachapi were very pleasant. There were some longer water carries but nothing too crazy. We walked through a lot of scrubby oak and juniper forests, which provided cooling shade. Our second night ended at Landers Meadow Spring, where there was trail magic, tall pines, and chill wind. A welcome change. We were even able to wash our feet. The trail angel informed us that the next section, typically a 42 mile water carry, had two caches in it. The first water cache was completely reliable, the second was a risk. Also there was no shade for the next twenty one miles. It was as if the desert was having its final hurrah. That day was a hard day. The terrain wasn’t difficult but it was hot, with only Joshua Trees for shade. The second water cache at Bird Spring Pass was our final destination for the evening and we were pleased to find around 100 gallons of water there. Also we found a lot of wind, which was just the desert giving us the big middle finger. And we started to really feel the effects of that early morning deranged trip to Albertsons. See when we made that sleepy trip to Albertsons we made a lot of bad decisions. Like thinking a sausage and a half a block of Parmesan cheese with some tortillas was going to be a fulfilling and nutritious dinner. Or that one packet of pop tarts was going to suffice for breakfast. Simply put, we were calorie deprived at that point and things were looking grim. Kyle kept counting his tortillas over and over again, as if more might appear. We all planned out our snacks for the next day, appalled to find that a bar and an Emergen-c was a generous portion. Despair sunk in and we all got cynical and giggly. For amusement at dinner that night (one measly tuna packet, some ritz crackers and some tapatillo) we watched three girls try to set their tents up in the wind and gasped in horror as they attempted to move them from one spot to the next already erected. Luckily none of them were blown into a cactus. None of us slept that night because the wind changed direction every twenty minutes and whipped our tents back and forth. The desert is really having her way with us, right at the end.
Oh also, funny story, when we were in Tehachapi I became convinced that my hat had gotten lost during our night hiking stint. I even shook out the trash bag that was lining my pack and Cameron saw me look into its depths and declare it empty. So I had to wear a stupid Montbell hat we found in a hiker box and that you see in the above pictures. It was such a dumb hat, every day one of the boys would look at me and remind me that it looked really stupid. So imagine my glee when I found my hat, lurking in the bottom of my pack on the third day out! Kyle was not as impressed, because in my panic (I didn’t want to wear that stupid MontBell hat for the rest of the trip) I had already ordered a new hat to arrive at Kennedy Meadows… Oops.