Snakebite vs The Water Carry

Day 31 Tehachapi to top of giant hill.

The door to the hotel room opens and lets in an unwelcome blast of light. Morning already? Getting up already?
The lure of the all you can eat continental brekkie is enough to get all the little hiker trashes out of bed one by one, myself included. I munch on delicious banana and peanut butter on toast and terrible watered down oj while marveling at Lance Bass being a newscaster on the tv in the corner.

After brekkie Yorkie and I make the mile and a half walk down to the supermarket to sort out our resupply. It takes me soooo long  -everything is in different aisles than I’m used to, I don’t know the brands, and I spend too long reading labels I don’t understand. Eventually I emerge with way too much food and we manage to hitch a ride back down the road.
I indulge in hummus, veggies and green juice while spreading my food all over the bed, trying to make some sense out of it.
Once my bag is packed I march over to the post office with Cheech and Chong to post my pants back to REI (stitching all came undone so I’m using their awesome return policy!) my solar charger to my sister for safekeeping. It is nowhere near anything else in town and involves a dodgy railroad crossing where there isn’t one.
An older gentleman strikes up a conversation about the trail, and I manage to yogi myself a ride to the library where I become a member and use their computer to attack some blogging.

Starbucks is the meeting place for everyone. It’s raining and we keep getting emergency flash flood warnings pop up on our phones. Too much dilly dallying from everyone and I’m antsy to get on the trail so I dig out my phone with the photo of the trail angels phone numbers. The first one I call offers two cars and will be over right away. It continues to blow my mind how amazing the community around this trail is.

Jae, Kyle, Rodrigo and I pile in, and collect Chloe and Ceili on the way. Ratatouille comes along for the ride to see if he can find his phone at the trailhead (he lost it on his way in).

As we all pile out Justin is there with some others and comes bounding over to warn there is no water at the first water spot. Crap!!! This means a big heavy carry, and we have a big giant hill. We fill up to whatever our capacity is (mine is 6L!!! Others are taking 11!!!) and drink as much as possible from the cache that is maintained at the bottom. Kyle passes around a watermelon (he carried a watermelon…) and we brace ourselves.
Our trail angel is excited to point out that this is the point that Cheryl Strayed started her hike (and Reece Witherspoon).


And we start. Slowly.

The afternoon storm has left a trail made of thick mud in its wake. We try and bypass as much as possible, duck under a barbed wire fence and back to avoid more, and eventually give in and trudge through. This ilicits a stream of expletives from Rodrigo that goes on forever and is hilarious (Jae videos it. Hours of entertainment).

Slowly we make our way up the hill as the sun is setting. The colours and light are stunning. We can see lights of the wind farm blinking red in the valley of the desert below. The storm is a distant memory and we have only our huffing and puffing, and the click of our hiking poles sounds as our soundtrack.




As I get to the top I find Chloe and Ceili in front of an awesome little cave made by bent over trees.  Perfect dinner amd camping spot. We munch on food, chat and set up our sleeping mats cowboy style (except Jae and Kyle who hide in their tents from a possible storm repeat). Beautiful stars above. Sore shoulders but a great day.

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