Start location: Mile 549.1 campsite from the day prior
End location: Tehachapi-Wilow Springs Rd, from which we hitchhiked to Tehachapi’s Best Western Plus hotel.
We woke late by our recent standards at 6am. Typically, we’d call 6am early, but both of the preceding days we were up by 5:30am. We took our time packing up, and weren’t walking till 8am.
The day was very easy. We descended through hills and, eventually, more wind farms. Like the Windmills we’d encountered at the end of the Antelope Valley walk, the windmills here were larger than those in the area of Mt San Jacinto.
It was very windy throughout the day. Someone should build a wind farm, there!
We arrived at Tehachapi-Willow Springs Rd and were greeted by ‘Coppertone’, a 2006 PCT hiker following this year’s crowd in a box-truck that’d been converted to an RV. He’s becoming trail-legendary for the root beer floats he’s been handing out. Indeed, back in Acton we’d had to skip his root beer float due to needing to pick up a package at the post office.
A hiker’s mother, notably not the same hiker’s mother we’d met at Casa de Luna, was there with Coppertone. She was waiting for her daughter to arrive at roughly 3pm, and was giving out rides to arriving hikers in the mean time. We took advantage of her offer and left for Tehachapi.
Once in Tehachapi, she dropped us off at the Burger King. From there, we called various hotels to check rates. It wasn’t long before we realized that the only name-brand hotels in town (the Marriott-Fairfield Inn, the Holiday Inn Express, the Best Western Plus, and the Best Western) were literally all owned by the same family. Their prices are high, and they manage to sell out on weeknights.
We spent the night in the Best Western Plus: we had a lot of gear prep to do before the Sierras, and we wanted space to sprawl in. We washed the tent in the shower (following LNT principles, of course), patched it in the couch area of our room, and made other necessary changes to gear.
Another hiker staying at the hotel, an older guy, gave us a lift to Alberton’s for dinner. He’d been staying there a few days and had rented a car to take care of various trail/gear related errands he needed to do.
We ate lots of fresh fruit and Rick-made sandwiches for dinner. We plowed through 0.5lbs of ham and 0.5lbs of cheese, in addition to multiple rolls.
We were in bed by 10pm, tired from the recent long days.