It was about 145 miles from Tehachapi to Kennedy Meadows. Some people were going to break this stretch up, and go 94 miles into a town called Lake Isabella to resupply, then get back on trail and do the 51 miles to Kennedy Meadows. Most of our friends were going to do it all in one trip. We felt tough, and decided to do the same thing.
This section we had some really long dry stretches without water, some 30 to 40 miles! Yikes!! It’s recommended to drink a liter every 4 miles, and with 40 miles, you’d need 10 liters of water! Each liter weighs 2 lbs, so if you carried 10 liters that’s 20 lbs of just water! Sorry, but that’s not happening! We carried no more than 7 liters through those areas. Since we had so much weight in water, we tried to buy lighter food. Being the desert and all, we thought it would be hot, and we wouldn’t eat as much. We thought we’d be okay splitting dinners. What were we thinking?! What kind of hikers would survive 145 miles splitting dinners and not eating as much? Well.. It wasn’t hot, in fact, it was very windy and even cold some days! We were so hungry, and ate more food than expected. I started counting my food and realized that to make it to Kennedy meadows on what we had I could eat breakfast, two bars, and dinner. I was hungry, and grumpy. They call this emotion “hangry,” which I definitely was!
“What do we do,” I asked Lingo. Should we go into town for more food? It would put us behind schedule, and we heard it was a hard hitch. That day it was brutal out. It was hot, but the wind was cold. The wind was so strong we felt like we were walking in place. We were hiking against the strong wind, uphill, in thick sand, with no shade. Our friend Hog even got blown down by the gusts. We took a lunch break under a Joshua tree. When I put down my pack for lunch, my 2 liter water reservoir got a cactus thorn in it and started to leak! Lame! We tried to put tape on it. That night we camped on top of a mountain, that had some trees for protection. We struggled setting up the tent in the wind. It was cold. We were exhausted. I slept great. The next morning we woke up to the sound of the wind. It was loud! The wind hadn’t stopped in over 24 hours. We hiked down the mountain and decided, along with Hog, that we needed to go to town. I wanted more food, a shower to wash off all the desert sand, and most importantly, I wanted shelter!
We hiked down to Highway 178 (Walker Pass.) I took out my “Hikers to Town” sign and we tried to get a ride. It was difficult! We all took turns, and joked about how maybe if we acted more pathetic we would get picked up. When we finally got a ride, two cars pulled over at once! How crazy! There was room for the 3 of us in this woman’s car, but she was running late into town, and drove really fast. I’m not used to going “car speed” and she was going probably 80 or 90 mph. Ahhh!! She was friendly, and we got to town alive, so all was well.