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2007-05-29 Welcome to the Sierra Nevada

May 29th, 2007

We started with breakfast at the Rush’s house and then to the post office (another letter and crossword from Bex) before reaching the trail at 10am. Many, many thanks to our wonderful trail angels Chris and Carol, they really made Tehachapi a great town stop for us.

Starting at 10 is not generally a good idea and as I staggered up the hill carrying 7 days of food I knew I’d never make an uninterrupted crossing of the high Sierras that I’ll be reaching next week. Vortex and Blue Sky were there too and Blue Sky wasn’t doing so well. She actually got to the throwing-up stage later on and felt much better after that. Something she ate?

PCT sign

Vortex, Blue Sky and SunWalker

During our late siesta we heard what sounded like a large explosion and a rumble after it. A second one followed 15 mins later. This is unusual up in the hills but when I went to look I saw we were not to far from Mojave Airport. Chris had told us that Burt Rutan had flown his Spaceship 1 from around here so maybe there were other experimental craft flying around making sonic booms.

It was after this break that the path leveled out and I got back into my stride reaching Golden Oaks Spring just before sunset. Contrary to what the water report said it was not flowing well so I placed a bottle under the pipe to catch a few drips and went in search of the spring box. Vortex and Blue Sky joined me shortly and we discussed options. Since walking the next 18 miles with less than a litre each was not going to work I dug a hole to gather some of the water leaking down the side of the path. It became apparent that this was not practical as scooping out of there disturbed the sediment and made for gross water so I had a better idea. I stuck my trowel into the steep side of the trail where water was running down and made a decent waterfall out of it. Filling a litre in less than a minute we soon had a process going of me collecting water, Blue Sky filtering it and Vortex treating it. And thus we drank well tonight.

They’ll be off early tomorrow (3:30am alarm!) and I may not see them for a month. Since they arrived at the Mann household six weeks ago I’ve seen them nearly every day and they’re great to have around. I know I’m only 20% through the hike and I’ll meet plenty more friendly folk, but these two are cool and I’d be happy to reach the end with them.

More photos of this day’s journey can be found at Tehachapi to Kennedy Meadows

Distance today: 15.6 miles. Total distance: 582.4 miles

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