Day 41: mile 560.6 to Tehachapi Nearo

5.26.18. 5.9 miles.

I woke up from cowboy camping to such a beautiful sunrise with the clouds and wind turbines in the distance. It was so pretty! I got ready pretty quickly along with the others, trying to stay in my quilt and behind our protective tree shrub for as long as possible!

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I had on all of my layers as I knew from the moment I stepped away from the tree, the wind was going to be crazy! And it was. We hiked as fast as we could with the wind almost knocking us over, sometimes stopping to brace ourselves against it. It was also sort of raining at the beginning. Again, I’m no wind expert, but Hot Mess said he felt hurricane winds of 70 mph before and said these felt very similar to that. These winds were definitely a type 2 fun situation. I felt like I was going to fly off the mountain at times, and my glasses were so fogged up and my legs were almost numb under my wind pants, but it was sort of fun and I finally experienced the truly crazy desert winds!

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Luckily, we only had to endure crazy wind for half of the hike. Once we got to the top of the climb, it was all downhill until the highway, and the sun was coming out and the wind was starting to die down. I was able to call my mom when we had about 1 hour left of hiking to update her on when we’d be done!

We eventually got down to the road and the last mile was a road walk to the north side of the highway. We had to wait for a train to pass first though! Which was actually pretty cool.

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We crossed the highway and ran into a few hikers who were slack-packing the 8 miles between the two roads, and then we only had to wait a few minutes for my parents!

I was very happy to see them, and they brought a surprise- Riley! My sweet happy puppy, who was so excited to meet all these new people and smell us. They immediately went into trail-angeling mode and brought out the donuts, soda, chips, and baby wipes for us to enjoy.

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After our reunion, we ran errands: we went to the grocery store for Hot Mess, Butters, and LOL to do their resupply, went to the UPS store so they could mail things to Kennedy Meadows North, stopped by Starbucks for a treat for me, and then dropped Hot Mess & Butters off at their hotel room. LOL is going to stay in our room. The hotel doesn’t allow dogs, so dad is staying in the van with Riley, and we had 2 beds! Perfect! The room wasn’t ready yet so we all went to a cool brewery and I got a ginormous salad.

Once the room was ready I went into full-on gear explosion and took everything out of my pack & did my chores: charging and showering. Mom brought me real shampoo, conditioner, body wash, a razor, and a loofah, so my shower felt very luxurious. The laundry attempts were sort of a disaster since there was a long wait and the wash seemed to take everyone over 1 hr, so I saved it for tomorrow.

For dinner, we got sushi with a big group, and after that I was exhausted! We hung out with dad & Riley in the van for a bit, I tried reading some magazines Mom brought but was falling asleep while reading. I have a few more chores to do tomorrow, but the most exciting thing: we made appointments for foot reflexology tomorrow! Yay!

It’s so nice being in this town with a car. It’s so big and definitely would be more difficult to get around without one. Thanks Mom & Dad for visiting!