Day 31: Racing the Post Office

Memories from May 21

I detached from Team Bizzle last night since I’m on a slightly faster timeline to get to the Sierras. However, when I broke camp at first light, I found Jan and Julie packing up. They’d gotten in to Hikertown just as I was leaving but had hiked almost to midnight making it an 37 mile day. Leaving people behind on the PCT is no guarantee that you won’t see them again soon. I was hiking slowly through the wind farm and they overtook me though I caught them again when I switch out of my jacket which for some reason put me into go mode.

Sunrise hiking through a wind farm. I saw a lot of windmills today. Not surprisingly, there was a pretty noticeable about of wind.

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It turns out Jan had a box at the Tehachapi post office which closed at 2pm. After collecting water in a wash 6 or 7 miles from where we’d slept, it was 8:10am and there were still 16 or 17 miles to go plus a hitch. I had a poncho-tent waiting for me at the same post office and so decided to join the challenge.

The trail was far from flat which is why it had sweeping views like this.

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And another wind farm.

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But I made it to Willow Springs Road by 12:30pm. The second car to pass gave me a hitch into Tehachapi (thanks Nick and Pam) and so I had my package with an hour to spare.

I had been sitting outside the post office for a few minutes trying to figure out accommodations. Just after I’d decided to camp at the municipal airfield (Best Western, which seemed like a nice idea since I felt like I could barely walk was $99 for a single bed and I didn’t know anyone in town with whom to arrange a room split), a car pulled up, discouraged a hiker, and then shouted if I was going to the airport. Dog Bite, the driver, is a trail angel who spends six weeks a year running something of a shuttle bus route for PCT hikers. This is really nice because whoever did Tehachapi’s urban planning appears not to consider walkability of any importance. In another 15ish minutes I was at a small, well kept, shady, grass park within two hundred yards of a small airstrip trying to decide whether food or rest was a more desperate need. Rest won despite requiring that I read the directions on my new poncho-tent.

After a nap, some food from my food bag, a shower in a retrofitted porta-potty (the water was even warm) and a little socialization with a few hikers I’d met previously, I discovered that Tehachapi had a theater and so decided to catch Captain America: Civil War wearing my long undershirt and rain pants since the nearest laundromat is over two miles away. I am hikertrash. The movie was fantastic. So was the jumbo sized soda.

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