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Josh "Spoons" Vanmeerveld
State: New Brunswick
Begins: Apr 26, 2013
Date: Wed, May 29th, 2013
Start: Tehachapi Willow Springs rd.
End: Tom's Place
Trip Distance: 83.0
Entry Visits: 2,166
Journal Visits: 5,943
Guestbook Views: 1,002
Guestbook Entrys: 5
Tehachapi to Kennedy Meadows
Crazy windy all morning going through the wind farm area...no wonder there are so many windmills!! lost my awesome straw hat (which was perfect for the desert) in the crazy wind gusts--50mph or so?--even thought the thing was trapped to my pack! so now I've lost two bandanas and a hat on the trip. definitely had too much heavy food heading out of town, but it is a longer stretch to Kennedy Meadows...just have to suck it up! Met up with lots of great thru-hikers thoughout the day which helped moral. At a water source, while cooking dinner on my alcohol stove, I took off my brand new light weight DriDucks rain jacket I had bought in Tehachapi (for 20$ !!) and of course the wind gusted up and threw it right into my stove's windscreen, melting a big hole in the back! Nothing to do but laugh at myself, tape it up, and learn! At the same watersource I found out my Aquamira 2 part chemical water treatment had leaked somehow, and the two chemicals had mixed together, ruining all of it, so I was without a way to treat water! but luckily the "trail provides" as we say, and someone gernerously donated some spare Iodine tablets, which combine with borrowing people's filters got me through to KM and beyond. Just shows you bad things come in threes (hat, jacket and water treatment in one day!), but such is life on the trail, and wouldn't change a thing!!
During this long dry section, while hiking with another Thru-hiker, we came across one of the "Trail Angels"--an elderly lady named Marie--restocking one of the water caches (her two cahces help break up an otherwise over 40 mile dry stretch!). It was nice to be able to help her unload the over 70 gallons of water! She told us she had been doing this for over 15 years!! Hard to imagine such generosity!
This being such a long stretch, food was getting a bit short, and was going to have to put in some big mile days to get to KM to pick up my resupply box that was originally going to contain my Ice-axe, 4-point crampons, and knee-length gaiters; all thankfully not needed due to the low snow conditions this year (50% less than average!). Again, the trail provides, and a thru-hiker I had been hiking with for a few days had his brother surprise him on the trail near a road crossing--took us all in his jeep to a nearby town to grab some lunch/beers and resupply!! Was a great time, and got my first real views of the high Sierras!!
Hiked through lots of wild-fire burned areas (nothing new by this point in the trail), but made great mileage! Hiked into KM on steam, but was greated with the best town stop of the trail thus far! Tom' Place was great! Tom is a local of KM who has turned his property over to hikers, with 13+ trailers for hikers to sleep in, an outdoor movie theater and a solar powered satellite internet cafe!! (KM is very remote, and seemed like most of the village was off-grid as a result). super-friendly spot, full of great Thru-hikers! Tom drove 3 of us down to "Irlan's" for dinner...it was an experience for sure! one of the most memeorable of the whole trip! almost indescribable!
Took a zero the next day in KM, picked up my resupply package at the General Store, also picked up my bear cannister (the BV-500) fromt he PCTA's loaner program! showered, laundry, relaxed. Insanely excited to finally get up into the High Sierra mountains! Took a Nero day (only about 3 miles) out of KM to camp, after eating again at Irlan's (and lived to tell about it!) some of the hikers had a pancake eating contest and we took bets...won 3$ betting on a friend of mine! ate the "tropic thunder" burger at the general store..a fully loaded burger with a slice of grilled pineapple on it!! so after a relaxing some more, prepping my gear, helping out by cleaning and sorting the "hiker box" at Tom's and eating spaghetti dinner at the general store, I was off to the Sierras!!!
2013 PCT Thru-attempt
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org
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