The day we ran out of water.
Tuesday 23 May 2017. Tehachapi to Oak Springs. 17 hot miles
Left Tehachapi at 7:30. We got a lift from a trail Angel school teacher and her son on the school run. She said they go around looking for hikers to help at this time of year before heading to school! How wonderful is that?
We got to the trailhead by 8am and I needed a shade break by 9:15 on the hot Up Up Up! It’s a roaster!
We had orange fizzy pop and 7Up fizzy pop. Litres of it! And only one litre of water.
Thirsty. Thirsty. Thirsty. Water. Water. Water. To get to the only water today it’s a 17 mile hike! It’s too hot. I need more water than we’ve brought. We decide that fizzy pop just makes you more thirsty and only water quenches properly.
We run out of water with 4 milesto go to the spring. My mouth is so Dry. I dream of ice cold water, with ice cubes. The more you try not to think of something the worse it Gets!!!!!
Water. Water. Water. We get to the green algae filled frog trough and start filtering. We drink the first 3 litres of water! Through the filter into our bottles and directly down our throats! Heavenly. Then I make tea!!!
I will hopefully be peeing all night after not peeing all day!
We plan to get up at 5am tomorrow to get more miles in before it Gets too hot again. It’s 19 miles to our next spring!
I love Scotland’s abundance of water!
The frogs are having a singing competition in the green slimey water trough and there is the whirr of nearby wind turbines.
I just heard the ground shake and saw, out the corner of my eye a huge brown thing coming towards the tent. I nearly fell over with shock. For a split second I thought it was a bear! It was a huge benign bull trudging past our tent!
The Trail Angel Teacher.
” I don’t have the time or inclination but I get to live vicariously through people like you”
Doug Section Hiker. “So are you guys experiencing the Hiker Hunger like the other hikers I’ve come across”.
“Once or twice but No we are eating pretty good!”
Doug “‘well you’d know! I was making pancakes the other day and dropped one on the ground. Three young hikers asked if I was going to eat that one!” (They ate it)
The day Cory marked his territory.
From Golden Oak Spring to Cottonwood Creek. 21 miles.
Last night was loud. Lots of hikers had decided to night hike which meant they arrived at Golden Oak Spring after dark. And after Hiker midnight (9pm)!
It was like living in a a lighthouse all the torch beams that shone into our tent.
Every time I managed to get back to sleep. Then however a very selfish Hiker arrived and did the old torch shined into our tent thing and then the idiot decided to put their tent up right beside ours. They started hammering pegs in and zipping and lifting and carrying.
The campsite was empty and this idiot pitched their tent a metre from
Ours and was so inconsiderate and loud!!
What a very poor night of sleep we had.
We are set the alarm for 5am to get as much walking in before it got too Hot as we had another 19 mile stretch without water.
At 5 am we made as much noise as possible beside the ‘Neighbour from hell’ tent. Cory peed right outside his back door!!! We discovered it’s really hard to be loud, they must have tried hard last night (for over an hour. Grrrr).
We were walking by 5:30, we saw the sun cast a gorgeous red glow in the cliffs of the mountains.
It was a day of UP and once again very very hot. At least there was more of a breeze today and even once or twice the occasional cloud.
I know at Times it was very beautiful but I am struggling to find the beauty in the walk. I slept in my Tshirt and bra last night to save pfaffing in the morning. I go to sleep sticky and smelly despite a wet wipe ‘bath’ and I awake even more smelly and sticky. Then I am walking in 30degrees plus, sweat pouring down my face, hair thick with sweat.
At least we had enough water today. I wasn’t thirsty. I even got a cup of tea at morning break after I had a freak out about not seeing Cory for 25 minutes, and wondering if I’d passed him.
A little colourful cricket was resting on my rucksack and was very reluctant to move, otherwise lots of terrified lizards scampering along the paths. There were quite a few freshly swept critter holes as
We walked along the path. Perhaps it was inspection day for the furry critters who live there?
Sap got stuck to our tent poles tonight! This resulted in them sticking to the tent inner, which resulted in a piece of the tent inner to which the poles attach, breaking off. I’ve tried to mend it as best as I can. Hopefully it holds until we can get it professionally sewn back on. We’ve tried to camp well away from where other hikers might decide to camp. Let’s see if we end up with another tent on top of ours tonight. Maybe I’ll pee on their tent tomorrow 🙂
We saw Bear prints today!!! We were walking along the dusty road which was covered with interesting paw and deer tracks and Cory stopped and pointed! OMG!!! Bear. It was 5 miles from where we had camped (wooded and high at Cottonwood creek) and just after breakfast. Wow!
We also saw our first deer, after a month of walking, this is our first deer. I’ve seen more deer up Plean Country Park in the early morning. We identified it as a Mule Deer one of the two indigenous species.
The app we have only has one set of Bear prints so we will have to wait for google to see if we can ID our Bear.
We hit trail magic just after our lunch. We were both listening to books and I saw a huge car just where the trail hit a dirt track. I said to Cory “do you see that?” “A car he said” I hoped it was Magic, but you are scared to get your hopes up!!!
As we got closer the Angel “strapless” hollared a welcome. On the back of the huge car they had ‘trail magic’ stuck to their bumper 🙂 Vertigo and Strapless had walked the PCT last year and wanted to give something back. They had 40 ice cream sandwiches!
I’ve read about them but never had one. Imagine walking 18 miles in the blazing desert and coming Across a picnic table, parasol, water, sodas, beer and ice cream as well as lovely people!!!
We’d been playing hopscotch with a group of about 6 hikers. We all stopped.
Ice Cream Sandwich ? Two chocolate chip cookies with vanilla and chocolate chip ice cream inside. They were all melting, gooey and runny. We all started to get sugar high!
One other Hiker hadn’t had a soda for 5 years. They caved. Another hiker hadn’t had a soda for 31 years. He crumbled!!!
I had fully sugar, American Cream Soda. Cory had an orange soda and IPA and two ice cream sandwiches.
Now we are camped 5 miles away from our next water (morning breakfast) behind some great boulders, perfect scenery of a Clint Eastwood movie and wind wind is fierce. Cory just found a used gun shell so we really are in the Wild West.
I have now finished Terry Waite’s book which was very good! It has put my self imposed ‘hardships’ into perspective. I must google Terry when I get to civilisation again and see where he is now. Perhaps John McCarthy’s book is available to download?
There were gorgeous little chipmunks today also. About the size of my fist with little white tails which curled up their backs and also a single hummingbird! We are back in the arid desert again.
The day of 4 ice creams!
Somewhere in the windy desert to Bird Spring Pass (5 miles) and down to 5.4 miles to the road.
I was slapped about all night last night. We thought the wind would die down over night. It didn’t! In fact it got worse. The tent slapped, slapped, slapped the top Of my head and down the side!
I tried sleeping ‘upside down’, feet where the head should be! I got a wee bit sleep until the midnight ‘elephant’ peepee! (We had a Cup of tea as well as our ‘loaded smash’).
Little did I know that we had another critter visitor overnight. At my side off the tent, we had the 4 trekking poles. Some ‘critter’ commando-Ed into our ‘camp’, up to our poles and began to chew!!! The strap handles of Cory’s black diamonds have been removed! Like Goldilocks the critter tried mine with a few (large) nibbles. Clearly my Leki poles did taste ‘just right’!
The wind was fierce as we trudged to Bird Spring Pass. It was high desert. Walking five miles UP on a ‘beach’ type sandy trail is exhausting. Add Force6 winds Ugh!
I couldn’t face the horror of going up to McIver Spring, so we came up With a plan B. Down to the road from Bird Spring Pass and PCT pray (thumb out) for an Angel.
The problem Was that The road was pretty much in the middle of nowhere and cars would be very far between or nonexistent!
The 3rd car stopped! A lovely Trail
Angel called Jen! Thank you Jen. Lovely company down to the busy highway where she was picking up her family.
Our next wonderful Angel was Sean. Lots of cars passed us on the highway, I was wondering if our props (rucksacks) were obvious enough. People need to see a hitchhikers props!
Turns out Sean had seen us, drove past us, then decided to turn back and Get us! He opened the door and handed each of us a fresh bottle of water! How wonderful is that? He showed us where we’d get the bus to Bakersfield and then took us to Vons for the $5 Friday arms length Sub!
We devoured the sub and then went to Burger King for ice cream. Clearly i needed subtitles Again as we ended up with 4 ice creams and not 2! Burp!!
Bus to Bakersfield. A Miles walk to the Vagabond hotel and then a walk to get an XL pepperoni pizza. After my shower, bath, shower!!! I love plumbing, MER 🙂
Wisdom, wit and gobble-de-gook.
Cory struggling to get up After a break and me being incapable of speaking English. “You can use my leg elbow to get up” (knee, hehe).
At the Best Pizza place in Bakersfield. “Now I don’t know that accent, where do you all come from?”
“What you doing here in this armpit of a town?”
Guest at the pizza place. “Are you all hikers?”
“I can tell by your tan! You need to use sunscreen. You need to get some from the dollar store!”
Day 39. Bakersfield. Saturday. 27th May. The day of our first über.
I had another shower. Mandy loves plumbing and water, to drink and wash in! Still I did wash my Tshirts in the shower, bath, shower last night. Ever frugal with water, it’s the PCT mindset:-) It is now, my tshirt, less likely to knock someone over at 2 metres! Only less likely!!
Kern County library is great and we did lots of research for our upcoming National Park tour as we wait for the Sierras to become ‘less’ snowbound. Thanks to the staff there for giving us lots of guest access!
A quick snack at Cafe Smitten, back to the Library and then a walk To Dollar Tree. Since we will have a car for our NPark Mini break I can have shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser (for my parchment flaky skin) and adult size toothpaste. OMG!!!!
We had our first Über experience and have now reached our hotel for tonight. Another Vagabond Inn In preparation for picking up our wheels tomorrow!
I’m just about to have my shower, bath, shower in preparation for more days/weeks without a shower and bed. Princess Mandy!
Wisdom, wit or gobble-de-gook.
“Are you all hikers?”
“Where do you come from?”
“Well welcome. Where did you hike From?”
“Are you for real?”
“Yes, the Pacific Crest Trail, have you heard of it? Mexico to Canada”
“No is that a Christian group”
If you would like to show your support our chosen charity is Syria Relief. Helping those still in war torn Syria.