June 2nd, 2021
Mile Marker: 558.5
Miles Hiked Today: 41
We slept in this morning and I felt so relieved that I actually slept well again. Maybe the cowboy camp life is the way to go.
Some Guy got up early and told me that during the night he woke up and had something in his ear. He said he knew it was a bug as it was crawling and then after a while of banging his ear and using his headphones jack, it fell out and he saw the beetle that was trying to creep around!!!!!
So actually maybe cowboy camping isn’t the way to go?
Sometimes I feel like I don’t know anything about anything any more on this trail. 🤷🏽♀️
This morning we were sleeping next to a closed section of trail. This section is closed because of a past fire as well and had a highway route we could hike if we wanted. We had the same opinions about this closure as our last.
We tried to get a shuttle and hitch a ride but came up short. Luckily, there is a trail angel named Pony Boy who lives in his van and is going around helping us hikers. We had seen him previously and asked if he was still around and available to take us the the next spot.
Thank the lord he was. We sat around and waited, Tide and Bottleneck showed us a dance they have, and eventually he showed up.
I was extremely jealous of his van life. How much fun it would be to travel all around with it.
Pony Boy took us to the next stop which is called “Hiker Town”. This is an area where hikers can do all their town chores. We decided to camp out at the market to siesta and then later we would night hike.
We spent the morning stuffing our faces and then found a shady tree to lay out and try to nap at.
Napping for some of us proved to be impossible with the heat and flies so we spent a majority of time planning out our night. We knew most people were going to night hike 17 miles to the next water source. Most people night hike this section as it is lowest in elevation and quite impossible during the day and heat.
We, however, are addicted to challenging ourselves and knew that we wanted to get as close as we could in the night to the next town of Tehachapi.
Then… the idea came out (possibly mine possibly not, I no longer remember) to do the full 41 miles before the sun got too hot and we could be in town by 10 am.
All of us knew it was quite a challenge and agreed to it. More so, agreed to trying to make it as far as we could before the sun came up. Gator also showed up! We were excited to see her and be able to hike into the night with her as well.
So at 7 pm ish, we all loaded up our bags and bought some caffeine items. I found a “Pocket Latte” that I thought would be fun to try.
We then headed out fueled on adrenaline. The sun was setting and we were walking along the famous aqueduct feeling high on adventure.
We walk along the aqueduct for many miles which was nice because it was flat in elevation. So we could fly without a worry.
We also came to a point where the aqueduct was completely out of the ground. Not going to lie I found myself a little nervous on this!
It was nice to feel the breeze and see the gorgeous setting sun. We were doin this dang thing!
Our motivation was pulsing through us as we charged through the night. The sun finally set and the stars were coming out. Us and most other hikers also bought glow sticks to wear during the night hike.
After about 10 miles we approached an area where we could see a ton of glow sticks. As we got closer, we realized it was a ton of hikers and Pony Boy’s van. He had found a spot to camp out and play some music and provide us with a cold beverage. I had some of a Dr.Pepper and then we continued on.
We knew most people weren’t going to be hiking the 41 miles to town so we needed to get moving if we wanted to get there before the morning heat.
We hiked and hiked and I couldn’t stop thinking about my ultramarathon as the only real area I could see was what was in front of me from my head lamp. The stars were bright though which helped somewhat.
I was in the zone. I felt fully ready mentally for this challenge. All I needed to do was continue forward.
I also saw my first scorpion!
We arrived at the first water source and didn’t stay too long as we knew that if we dilly dallied too much that we would get tired.
We then headed in to the next one and arrived around 2:30 am and had 17 more miles to town.
I mentally was feeling pretty good but my stomach started to get a little uneasy.
I had two emergency boom booms that left me feeling empty and nervous. I now even more than before wanted to get into town. If I did some how pick up a stomach bug, I definitely wanted to be in town.
I continued to drink some water and ate on Some Guys banana chips and Fritos and started feeling better after a couple hours. Maybe it was the excessive amount of Clif bars and caffeine?
Let me also mention, Some Guy had hiked the highway miles (20 miles) and then met us at the market and then was dedicated to doing the full 41 miles with us as well. Talk about crazy!!
We moved on slowly from the water, getting ourselves back into the right mental state with a slower pace and caffeine. The pocket latte wasn’t my favorite but Planner and Some Guy were fans!
We all stayed together step by step. Around 4:30 we could see some sun light starting to come through behind the mountains. Our biggest goal was to get to the top of the mountain close to sunrise. Because from then on it would be 9 miles mostly downhill to town.
We made it to the top in the sunlight and were proud of ourselves and slightly delirious. We would laugh about silly things and sometimes keep laughing because we could.
We had now seen the sun go down and come up.
The hike down started to make us feel like zombies. Just step step step step and with the incoming heat it felt like it took forever. The trail took us through huge winds farms that I felt were lulling me to sleep.
During the last 3 miles we could see the highway that we were to get off on and felt like it took forever to actually reach it. There were moments where I felt my eyes close and then I would pop them open. Just a little bit longer and I could sleep. Just step step step step. I knew I would be there before too long.
Around 9:45 am we arrived at the highway and a water cache where I immediately filled up a bottle to chug and then laid in the grass. It had been a full night and we were incredibly proud.
41 miles in one session down!
Iz and Oz
One Reply to “Day 23: The Desert Makes Us Do Crazy Things.”
OH MY GOODNESS, YOU ALL ARE AMAZING! So glad you have a solid tramily to hike with. You all are in my prayers every single day. Thank you for sharing this adventure!