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PCT near Tehachapi, CA
mini location map2016-02-08
9 by photographer avatarDallinW
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PCT near Tehachapi, CA 
PCT near Tehachapi, CA
Hiking avatar Feb 08 2016
Hiking9.15 Miles 2,100 AEG
Hiking9.15 Miles
2,100 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Continuing my trip around SoCal, I started heading for Lone Pine and decided I needed to stop and do a small part of the PCT since it was so close. I've been a little apprehensive to touch the PCT because I want to keep it as virgin as possible for a thru-hike, but eventually I concluded it is hard to spoil a 2660 mile trail by doing a few miles. I had an urge to satisfy anyway.

The exit to the trailhead going west bound on the highway was closed, so I had to go all the way to Tehachapi, turn around, and take the exit going east. The reason why the exit is closed, is due to the construction/clean up work being done after a recent landslide. For the first mile the trail was sometimes buried under a few feet of soft dirt. Because this part parallels the highway it wasn't a problem to follow.

After paralleling the highway for about a mile, the trail begins to climb away from the highway and the scenery begins pick up. I climbed for a bit before running into another hiker who was doing a segment up to Walker Pass. We got talking for a bit about the trail and long distance hiking in general. She has done about 1200 miles of the PCT so far.

We eventually got around to asking names, and then I found out this was "L-Rod" (Donna Shauffery), the section hiker who also hosts other hikers at Hiker Heaven. Anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of PCT culture knows about Hiker Heaven. They see and host just about every thru/section hiker on the trail.

I was star struck for a minute. I've watched a lot of documentaries on the PCT, and she has been in just about every single one of them, either as a hiker or a trail angel. And here I was, out on a random hike on the PCT, and I just happen to run into her. The conversation from here went more in depth about the PCT and the upcoming season. I mentioned that a thru attempt of the trail was in the near future for me, and she sounded excited to get to host me. We ended up talking for about 30 minutes.

I continued on up the hill, the climb now slightly more strenuous, and eventually stopped once I reached a good place to take a break and turn around. I enjoyed a nice ice-cold Dr Pepper I had taken from my ice chest just before starting the hike, and soaked in the views of the Mohave.

On the way back down I passed L-Rod again, we said our goodbyes and I told her I was looking forward to staying at Hiker Heaven in the near future. I almost decided to grab my overnight gear when I got back to the truck and try to catch up with her again, but with the sun setting, and feeling a little tired, I decided against it.
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