It’s Getting Hot In Here
I had not taken a zero since Wrightwood, 11 days ago, so I needed a day to rest. Unfortunately, I was in Hiker Town, in the heat, but it will have to do. In the morning I woke up at Wee Vill Market and walked into the market and ordered a breakfast burrito. The thing was huge and delicious! We hung out in the shade outside or in the air conditioned market, resting. The people at the market are great and welcome hikers. After a few hours I was hungry again, so I ordered the tacos. 4 little chicken tacos with green sauce, covered in cilantro and onions. Again, amazing for this market in the middle of nowhere. Around 2pm we needed to try to go west to Hiker Town to start our early trek across the aqueduct the following morning. So, we headed to the road and began our hitch. A woman in a van pulled up and we were headed to Neenach Market. We walked around the other market to find expired snacks and drinks and ordered dinner for the night. I got the chicken tenders. We then requested the free shuttle back to Hiker Town. Back at Hiker Town there were hikers everywhere, multiple large groups were going to head out at sunset. I didn’t want to hike at sunset because it would mess up my sleep schedule, so we opted for an early morning hike. As the night grew dark we checked out the tent camping area which was quite windy. So we rented a basic room with a bed. The rooms were warm without any ventilation besides the door being open. I laid down and attempted to get some sleep.
The walk along the aqueduct
Around 10pm I woke to my stomach feeling unwell. I grabbed my headlamp and headed to the bathroom that was crawling with bugs and spiders. Eeek!! I’m not quite sure what happened in there, but something was not right with my stomach. Was it the chicken tenders? Was it the green water? Is this the start of something bad?? I went back to my room which had spiders out front. As I laid there listening to the trucks drive by and hoping spiders or rodents didn’t come crawling into my room. Around 3am I woke up and used the bathroom again. Way Finder and I packed up and began our hike in the dark, hoping my stomach would be okay. We had glow sticks and had a play list to make it fun. The 17 mile road walk was hard on the feet and knees. The sunrise in the desert was beautiful. We hiked around 3mph and arrived at Cottonwood Creek by 10:30am, before it got too hot. There we saw all the hikers that had left the night before. We took cover under the bridge in the shade next to the creek. I laid down and took a nap.
The wind in the desert is relentless
The night at Cottonwood Creek my tent collapsed twice from the wind. Maybe I should not camp next to a wind farm. It was warm, so we woke up early again to make miles before it got too hot. We did 10 short miles and camped next to a creek without shade. I hung out at the water soaking my feet and clothes to stay cool. I often questioned if we should have hiked farther, but climbing 2000 feet in the heat did not sound fun. So, we will wait to do that in the morning. As the night approached, so did the wind. This time I was ready for it. I had many rocks securing the lines to my trekking poles holding up my tent. The wind was fierce. It blew strong with gusts even stronger. Our tents blew and blew and then my tent collapsed. Nooooo!! So I gave in and decided to cowboy camp in rattle snake territory. I tried to pull my stuff from my tent, but the wind was trying to take my sleeping pad, quilt, and pillow from me, I had to sit on things to hold them down. Way Finder helped me get situated. I laid down and the wind blew dirt into my face, debris into my hair, and filled my quilt with air like a hot air balloon. OMG! I can’t sleep like this! Should I pack up and climb in the dark to find someplace less windy?? I burrowed myself into my quilt and tried to get some sleep. Around 12:30am the wind just stopped. I grew hot thanks to menopause, so I crawled out of my quilt and decided to pitch my tent again to attempt 4 hours of sleep.
My body grows weak
After the night from hell I woke up in the morning tired. I packed up my stuff and began the climb up the hill before it got too hot. After 4 miles I arrived at a trail angel spot with water, I sat on the chair and took a much needed break and ate a snack. Then we continued our 14 mile hike to Tehachapi. But something was not right, I was feeling dizzy. I was feeling nauseous and wanted to cry. Was this how I would get rescued off the trail? I sat in the shade and started to feel better. Still not feeling 100%, I slowly continued to hike down the trail. I could not go faster than 2mph. Go faster legs, go faster!! But they wouldn’t. Around 1pm I finally made my way to the trailhead and was greeted by a hiker. He said there was trail magic ahead. As I arrived I saw someone making pizza. I grabbed a soda and ordered my pizza. This was amazing!! Thank you trail angels.
A real zero! Or three!
After getting a hitch to town, I checked into the hotel, took a shower, and we walked to Thai Hachapi for dinner. I had laab salad and basil chicken. I could only eat a small amount since my stomach felt full. The following morning I was greeted by my husband who drove 3 hours to come spend some time with me. We spent the day eating, resting, buying food for resupply, and eating some more. The following day we walked to breakfast and waited for my brother in law and his kids to arrive from Bakersfield. We went to have bar b que and then took the kids to the amusement center PDubs. After lunch my family headed home. I was sad to see them go, but I look forward to my husband joining me the last 4 months of my trek when he gets out of school in 3 weeks. Most likely we will skip ahead to avoid the Sierra thaw and flip back and finish with Whitney.
Thanks for following along my epic journey!
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