Stay Gold in Tehachapi

If trail angel (TA) homes were graded on the same scale as hotels, the home of Jason aka Stay Gold would easily be a 5-Star accommodation.

Stay Gold – PCT Southern Terminus

Packrat, Bird, and I were looking for a place to stay while in Tehachapi, but we were not wanting to spend a ton of money on a hotel. Up until now, we’ve mostly avoided TA homes mostly because I have an irrational discomfort when staying at homes other than my own.

We recalled Google sharing rumors of an amazing TA home in Tehachapi. If you recall, we met Google and Marketa at the 549 trail magic oasis. Apparently, this TA home is super awesome… complete with snacks, drinks, hot showers, pool, spa… the works. It sounded worthwhile to check out. I was both intrigued and nervous.

Stay Gold picked us up from the Love’s truck stop on the outskirts of town. My first impression of Stay Gold was very positive. He is a larger guy with a shaved head and covered in tattoos… a lot like myself. We are also in the same age range and both have two teenage daughters. He also likes to cook and loves backpacking… it all seemed way too familiar.

Jason has an amazing relationship with his three children. Pictures of he and his kids are found on every wall… four genuinely smiling faces enjoying an assortment of activities. I was honored to meet his two oldest daughters, whom both clearly have an amazing level of love, respect, and concern for their father.

Stay Gold’s home is extremely welcoming. It’s a spacious home with enough space for numerous hikers. You immediately get the sense that you’re in a home built on love and respect. It’s very clear when you walk into his home where his priorities lay… the L.A. Dodgers, craft beer, and his children.

His house has everything a child or teenager could even dream of having. He has a popcorn machine, nacho cheese dispenser, cotton candy machine… his home has two living areas both setup like home theaters. Snacks and beverages for all tastes are plentiful and organized. Throughout the home, hikers can find everything they might need from resupply to shipping and receiving of packages.


There aren’t any beds available for hikers, but there is space on multiple massive couches and plenty of floor space on his very comfortable carpet. If you’re okay with getting close with your neighbor, you will have no issues here.

To top off all that is available at Stay Golds… a fully stocked kitchen and massive dinning area where the entire home can come together to break bread. While there, I was honored to cook both breakfast and dinner for the entire home: Jason, his daughters, and the nine hikers all sharing the same living space. It really was an incredible experience… possibly the most enjoyable experience I’ve had on trail.

Chef Smiley “Pepper Spray”
Splash and Snake Eyes
Google and Marketa
Tramily Dinner

By far, the best part of staying with Jason is the army of critters ready to share some cuddles. If you’re into animals, Jason’s three American Bulldogs and multiple cats are constantly on the roam looking for some poor sap to shower them with love.

Meet Dixxon

Lastly, if you’re into Mario Kart… get ready for some competition. A Nintendo Switch with four controllers and a 7 foot T.V. are readily available for the next round of contenders.

Mario Kart Throw-down.

Jason’s trail name was given to him on the day he wore his favorite “Stay Gold” Dixxon shirt. I think the name is fitting, but not because of his shirt. Jason is a man with a heart of gold. He is kind and generous… he is loved by all. I get the feeling he has “stayed gold” his whole life.

Stay Gold aka Jason

If you’re looking for a place to stay where you will absolutely be treated like family… look no further than Stay Gold’s place. If you’re a fan of the 80’s comedy television show Cheers, you will feel right at home. You’ll know when to see it.


Cheers, Smiley

One step at a time.

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