Hiking With Jason

Detached From Reality

Day 29: Solo night hike in the wind

Day 29 – 5/20/16

Tylerhorse Canyon 541.55 to Tehachapi 558.2
Total miles: 16.65

I woke up around 9 and the sun was baking me in my tent. I get up to pee and I see that there is a big oak down the creek a way. I walk down the the creek and see there is a big flat area under the tree. Perfect place to hide from the sun. I move all my stuff down there but it’s a little cold in the shade. It’s a perfect day for hiking. 70° and partly cloudy.

I grab my foam pad and food bag and sit in the sun. I eat two things of pop tarts and a fiber bar. I see a couple I know stop to get water back up the creek. I walk back and talk to Shire and Heather while they filter. Heather is thinking of calling it quits but Shire wants to at least do the Sierra. They pack up and leave just as 5 Star gets up.

I go grab my food bag and pad again and sit next to 5 Star. It’s now completely overcast and a little cold. Guess I didn’t need to move my stuff. Slowly others wake up and Captain shows up since he stopped early last night. We all sit around eating, talking, and generally doing nothing.

Around 1 the sun pops out and I get too hot. I head back to the tree and take a nap until 5. Mommy also napped under the tree. When I woke up she was picking her stuff up and said 5 Star already took off and was going to take it easy. I pack all of my stuff up and head up the creek. The others look liked they wouldn’t be ready for another hour and I was getting cold so I took off.

The hike winded around the mountain and climbed up. The higher I climbed the more I could look out and see the desert floor I came across last night. The climb was about 2,000 feet over 5 miles. Not too bad of a climb especially since the sun was just setting.

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Saw this cute guy

I reached the top just as the sun had setter but there was still some light left.  At the top were some people camping and some trail magic. A bunch of chairs, bottled water, oranges, and apples.  I downed a half liter of water and grabbed an orange and apple. I ate the apple quickly and got my sun gloves soaked in orange juice. The wind picked up and the temperature was dropping fast at this point.  My fingers were getting numb from how cold it was. I put my sun gloves away and pulled out my real gloves. It took awhile to get my pack clipped back together since they were so cold and numb.

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After I put my pack back on and walked about 100 feet I wished I pulled out my beanie and buff. The wind was making it feel much colder than the 43° my watch was showing. I still had another 7 miles and I was freezing. The trail started to go down and I could see the blinking red lights of the windmills. For the next 6 miles I walked through another windmill farm. They definitely picked a good location because it was constant wind for the next couple hours. Cold, cold, wind. The last couple miles I was completely over it. My mp3 player battery died around this time so I didn’t have a distraction from the cold wind.

As I got closer to the road to Tehachapi I turned on my headlamp to look for 5 Star. I came up to a gate and on the other side was a trail register. I saw 5 Star signed it so I knew I didn’t accidentally pass him. I walked across a little bridge, tripped, and almost fell. Then I saw a couple tents one being 5 Star’s. Finally!

Tomorrow is a hitch into Tehachapi where the Best Western will be my home for two nights. After that it’s 7 days to Kennedy Meadows, the gateway to the Sierra. Also, the last chance at a real bed, shower, and laundry until Mammoth which is close to 350 miles away.

15 Comments

  1. Sorry, about the cold wind. I hate wind. It makes you loco. Stay strong and safe.
    “The rainbow comes and goes.” Wordsworth

  2. curious as to why Heather wants to call it quits – are you bumping into others who are bailing out early? – also, i may have missed it, but what trail name have you picked up?

    • I didn’t ask the specifics. I figured she was getting tired. She had an old style external frame pack and it looked heavy. I don’t know anyone else that has bailed.

      Yeah, my trail name is Wrong Tent. The post for Day 15 has the story.

  3. What day do you expect to reach Kearsarge? A friend & I are planning on going over Lamarck Col to reach the PCT @ mile 845 on Tues, 5/31. We’re then heading south to do a tour of the major passes, shooting for Glen/Kearsage/out the afternoon of Sun, 6/5.

    I always provide rides down from Onion & to Lone Pine (on my way back to LA) if any hikers are hanging out, so if you’re around I’ll keep my eyes open.

    Don’t let any naysayers get you down about the snow. And whatever you do, don’t skip/flip ahead – that blows. Just do it the right way, which means hike to the beginning of the snowfields below each pass the afternoon before. The next morning, get up by 4am, boil some water, make some broth, and get started by 5am. Up and over before 10am, and you should be able to avoid all postholing.

    This is what Whitney looked like last weekend – really excellent conditions:

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VCqRgupcVGY/V0D9LL9DdTI/AAAAAAAACAQ/L8pud0MwYBURYgT53uJRG3wKNS29AZ_NgCCo/s912/20160513_074847.jpg

  4. Your Mom loves “cool” weather.

  5. Days late but waffle fries make all other fries pointless.

  6. Jason, found your blog and am loving it! You’re gunna be so happy to get to Kennedy and see the sierras! Looki forward to your posts. Happy trails!

    • Thanks for reading! I’m am beyond excited for Kennedy Meadows! I’ve been looking forward to it for a year now. To be honest I’m over the desert section. I’m ready for a drastic change in scenery.

  7. I see you are still tripping but never falling! 🙂

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