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Rachel & Aaron
Begins: May 11, 2010
Date: Sat, Jul 3rd, 2010
Start: Tehachapi/Willow Springs Rd
End: Golden Oaks Spring
Daily Distance: 25.6
Trip Distance: 584.2
Entry Visits: 1,051
Journal Visits: 59,825
Guestbook Views: 6,368
Guestbook Entrys: 158
Pacific Crest Trail Map
(Click image for full size)
the middle of nowhere
We have completed about 17 miles since starting at Hwy 58 yesterday afternoon. The mileage total is off by about 8 PCT miles which we skipped near Mojave
We rode the county bus out to where the trail intersects the highway. The bus was full of gawking locals who were surprised at the unscheduled stop in the middle of nowhere! One guy said as we disembarked that we were "fixin' to get 'et up" out there. Not sure what he meant was going to eat us! The heat, bears, the trail, snakes? We are not 'et up yet.
The trail promptly climbs up, up, up out of Tehachapi Pass
into foothills with wind turbines
all around. The wind was ferocious. There's a good reason they are everywhere. Sixty mph wind whipped us around and threatened to knock us down. Sometimes it was all we could do just to remain upright, climbing uphill and bent halfway at the waist, while trying to compensate for gusts coming from the left and leaning in to the wind in that direction, too. There was not a living thing in sight besides sparse vegetation! Aaron got literally pushed off the trail. Forward progress was slow.
We finally made it up to treeline where pines and oaks provided some protection from the wind. The sun was beginning to set and the dusky light can really be something. We topped off a ridge to see a field full of sagebrush which appeared turquoise day-glo up against the dark, shrubby pines which were half in shadow
. Their golden glowing tops were illuminated by the last of the sun's rays.
We hiked with headlamps until about 10 pm
, following an old jeep road to the "big tree" area where we found a lovely camp spot somewhat out of the wind.
More climbing this morning and we concluded our day's hike early at Golden Oaks Spring. We saw no one at all today but two handsome cows. One was huge and Aaron thinks she's pregnant. He has named her Bessie (creative!). They were sharing the same water source as we filled our bottles from! Thankfully, the spring is piped so we didn't have to drink from the trough.
Happy Independence Day
! Our thoughts are with family and friends who are celebrating together. We will miss the fireworks this year but I have discovered a new wildflower that is a pretty substitute, with tiny yellow blooms on fine stems radiating in the shape of a sphere from the top of the stem. I've taken a pic so you all can see how much it looks like a bursting firework and will upload asap.
The wind has calmed but still ocassionally rocks our little tent with strong gusts. We have nestled it in among some oaks for protection. Goodnight!