Welcome to the Mojave Desert

Tonight is my first of seven Top Ramen dinners from the Tehachapi Chevron. I’ve literally sat myself in the dirt with Hwy 58 still in view as the amount of water I was carrying became unbearable and the only way to rid myself of weight is to eat!

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I just heard from UB back in Tehachapi that today there was a strong wind advisory, I may start getting into the habit of checking the weather before leaving town. That stretch between Willow Springs Rd and Hwy 58 was mental, no wonder I haven’t seen any other hikers all day!

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Despite the creepy motel I slept incredibly well last night. I woke up around 9am and made coffee and breakfast on my stove on the doorstep of my room, true hiker style.

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I checked myself out of the motel around 1pm as the owner Kim was very blasé about timing. When I took my heavy pack to reception to wait for Pac Man to pick me up I met Roy who also works at the motel. We had an interesting conversation about how he’s checked out from the world, doesn’t use credit cards, own a phone or receive mail. He also plays in a blues band and put on some of his music while I ate a packet of plain multigrain tortillas for lunch.

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I stopped writing this post earlier after my dinner and am now continuing it having just posted videos from the extraordinary winds I experienced coming up the mountains. The scenery of the desert was utterly stunning and the colours in the sky kept coaxing me to climb higher and higher until I realised how strong the winds actually were. By this stage it was too late and I found myself trapped on a ridge unable to move because the wind was so strong it just kept knocking me over. I texted UB to let him know I was in trouble and then took one last shot at crawling across the ridge in hope of some cover on the other side. Not long after I made it across I stumbled upon Robin and Garth and literally jumped on them and hugged them with relief, spilling out the whole story of my despair while adrenalin was still thumping through my body. I’m sleeping at their feet tonight like a puppy dog, so happy to be snuggled up with other hikers while the wind howls outside my sleeping bag.

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8 thoughts on “Welcome to the Mojave Desert

  1. So relieved .you are through that incredible wind tunnel and safe, Checking weather should be a routine task (from now on!). From the map it looks like a lot of climbing in the next couple of weeks – just another big challenge. That bag full of junk food you just bought looked very disturbing – but you were in a disturbing place. Hopefully not too many more people will promise not to kill you.

  2. Hi darling, good to see your smiling face and some beautiful photos. Moving weight is just moving food from your backpack into your body, is that how it works? Good to see that your stove and little pot is working well. The best of all is, no more howling wind around you. Enjoy the peace. Love Mutti xx

  3. OMG! Can’t believe the wind. So glad for Robin and Garth. Also, that you have someone to text (UB) if you get into trouble. Looks like you may have a whole lifetime of experiences in a 5 month period. Smart to take photos of strangers you meet (for safety reasons). The ‘peace after the storm’ looks quite inviting.

    Donna

  4. Stunning skies. Hopefully no mention of your feet means that they’re feeling better and not just that they were displaced by these other issues. Your smiles are reassuring!

    Dave

  5. Hey you! If I had a way to get a hold of you I would have… Ironically I was in Death Valley this weekend hiking Telescope Peak and decided on a whim with a few friends to head over to Sequoia National Park (7 hour drive, and yes we are nuts!). We took the 58 and I knew the PCT was close… And then I saw the hikers! I stopped at the exit for a few minutes and now know I will not be looking forward to that CRAZY WIND next year… O M G! I looked for you and Chris as I was driving down the 58 to drop one of our cars in Tehachapi. If I saw you guys I would have been the crazy person pulled off the side of the freeway yelling and offering you a ride / meal / or whatever you may want or need. You both are doing great!!! Keep it up and maybe by chance I will see you on Whitney in a few weeks! Looking forward to catching up on a few of my favorite thru-hiking blogs of the year.. Enjoy the journey!

  6. If you talk to UB…shoes have been at PO since Monday morning at 8:38am. Not sure why they (PO) couldn’t find them. Amy is trying to find someone who will hike and/or drive & get them to him on trail. If you know anyone behind UB and they are willing to carry extra weight for him let me know. Shoes with holes in bottom not good with 150 plus miles to Kennedy, especially with his feet. If Amy finds someone, not sure where he wants us to leave them for him or where to meet him if someone could bring to him. If you have any ideas let Amy aka “Blondie” know. am2953@aol.com or (760) 390-6373. Thanks

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