PCT Day 43+44: Mile 558.5-583 Trench Foot + Gold Oaks Spring


5.26.18 + 5.27.18

Day 43:

Trench foot. I lost a sock just 2 days before, so the third day of wearing the same dirty socks was getting to my feet. Coming into Tehachapi we hiked 30 miles and my foot was fed up. It felt like irritated skin on the underside of my right toes. After inspection, I concluded that something had to be done. Two pair of socks for Big 5 and some Tanactin cream later and I was on my way to being right as rain!

We took a zero to get a good full rest. We camped in the back of the Red House BBQ place and tooled around the western town. There was a Memorial Day celebration, and all kinds of cowboys and cowgirls decended ln the town for music, 2step, and good food. After resupplying and enjoying the best food in town, we crashed out ready for the next day!

Day 44:

Louis, Mike, Baxter, Sisyphus, Paul, and myself woke early in the back yard of the Red House BBQ. Conviniently next door there was a diner that opened at 5:30am and after some of us packed our bags we headed over. It was a nice sendoff before getting back on trail. Pancakes, bacon, eggs, good hot coffee, anything your heart desired!

We debated back and forth after no Trail Angels, No Uber Drivers, or Lyft drivers answered our need for a ride. The guys were still sorting it out when I decided just to start walking and put my thumb out. Just a quarter mile later Jeff (trail angel) and 3 other hikers stopped and picked me up in a big diesel truck. I was on my way to the trailhead!

I was excited to start again, the temps were great and the wind was blowing. Nothing like the nightmare heat it could be. I trekked on, through the rolling hills between the wind turbines, just enjoying the vast views. I took a break after reaching a road walk and stopped for a snack.

Soon Paul and Sissyphus came rolling up with big smiles on “Hey man!” we both exclaimed! The three of us trekked on together as the other fellas decided to skip the “boring” mile section. By then the heat started coming on and we echanged stories about back home as we walked along the interstate. After a mile or so, the trail turned towards the moutnain on single track and it was time to get after it. Up and up we went. About half way the boys took a break from the heat and I kept kicking for the top. After about 3 miles of nice uphill grade and a cool advantaging wind I found the top. The wind seemed to gather the perfume from all the purple lupin in an entire field and brought the scent to our noses. It was a nice change to the usual hiker funk! Soon after I stopped, the fellas joined me in a nice break!

We rolled through the rest of the terrain on our own. Up dirt roads, twisting through songle track. At one point I met a cool couple on their honeymoon. It sure was nice to meet all the interesting people out here!

The miles melted away and finally I was on the last descent of the day as the golden hour took over. Views were incredible and expansive, and I just took them in as I rolled the remaining trail to camp. There I found a whole load of hikers along whith Paul and Sissyphus. We greated, filtered water, cooked, stretched, and were in our beds in under an hour. Hikers live by the sun, in bed at sundown, up and moving at sunup. What a great day!

Hiker Profile:

Queso and Husk: A couple of thru hikers just slackpacking on a nice section of trail. I met them, sitting on the bench, in no hurry to go anywhere, taking in the views and enjoying the weather while it lasts. Its hard not to smile out here!

Popeye and Trex: On their Honeymoon after a recent marriage. They were both from Oklahoma to begin with. Trex moved to LA where she lived for 29 years. They met and held a long distance relationship for 6 years. Once Popeye retured and the kids moved out, Trex moved back home and they were now married. Taking on the PCT with big smiles and hopes for the future!