On my way to Tehachapi I stopped at the infamous Casa De Luna, AKA The Anderson’s. A must stop for any hiker. The Anderson’s place and hospitality is heart warming to say the least. The backyard trails out into a sea of manzanitas and within them is a litter of small plots for your own private home for the night.
Our little village of hikers enjoyed taco salad, ice cream and pancakes and coffee in the morning. Another shower and some clean clothes, things always to take advantage of when you get a chance.
Coming into Green Valley, which is where the Anderson’s live, I camped on top of a saddle. With a cooling trend moving through and rain in the Mojave, I was socked in and experienced the first wet night on the PCT. It was a great night with the wind whipping and clouds flowing through my shelter. I stayed relatively dry but after catching up to a few friends the next day who continued hiking maybe 20 min up the trail, which went over the saddle, I found out it was dry and calm all night.
But what would a thru hike be without some weather? This won’t be the last of it, that’s for sure. After leaving the Anderson’s the trail takes a few detours around another burn area. This time I decided to take the longer route which skipped the least amount of trail. With a few other like minded hikers, we traversed Upper Shake campground and reconnected with the PCT. It was another day socked in the clouds and we hiked in our rain get to shelter from the wet overgrown plants on the trail, that hasn’t been fully maintianed due the fire. But after a few miles we entered another world. One that reminded me of home.
With the lush oak forest with a floor of miners lettuce. We snaked our way through gorgeous turn after gorgeous turn as the clouds seeped in and out of the trees and sun peeking through time to time, we came upon the 500 mile mark on the trail.
The wind, threating rain, lack of water and no elevation change on hard dirt made this easily the hardest day on trail and feet ached and begged for soft dirt and change. The wind and rain made it questionable to stop. But getting off of my feet was a must even if just for a few hours.
But with a calming evening and a goodnight rest, another 23 miles melted away the next day and Tehachapi is now under my feet. A huge dry section of more than 40 miles lies ahead, but for now it is the same routine. Rest, resupplying, laundry and shower.