Day 36: 5/14/14, PCT Mile 558.5

Miles hiked: 17
Camped at: Tehachapi Santa Fe Motel with Teddy Rose and Rei

Day by day it’s still amazing to me how much my energy level varies. How peppy I am directly relates to my enjoyment of the day, though not necessarily my hiking speed oddly enough. Last night I slept decently well despite being woken up by night hikers arriving (who were trying to be quiet but weren’t completely successful). More importantly, I hadn’t slept well at Hikertown the night before and it was catching up to me, in addition to a nasty hacking cough – my asthmatic lungs are not happy inhaling sand on every breath due to the high constant winds. Still, I was up and out by soon after 6am, hoping despite hope that dragging my body up a several thousand foot climb would improve my mood. Huh. All in all, I made decently good time, I just wasn’t enjoying the day as much as I wanted to. I was so happy to see the picnic table near the first road crossing into Tehachapi, and while Teddy Rose had oodles of energy and decided to hike on to the 2nd crossing, I decided I was done for the day. 17 miles is perfectly respectable after all! Rei flipped a coin (I was actually carrying a quarter for some reason) which I found cute :).

Impressions of the day: The flowers in the burn area were incredible – seas of purple, yellow and white, with sweet smells testifying to the power that life goes on. The wind knocked me about all morning, and normally I would be gleefully laughing at trying to walk up sandy ridges clinging to the side of the mountain (at least, I generally find this fun when it isn’t raining on me), today not so much but it did bring a smile to my face. The acres of wind turbine farms, all swirling close by and far away. The kindness of strangers – Rei and I were still walking to the area we wanted to hitch from when a nice guy in a truck pulled over – literally the second car to pass us. Finally, gorging ourselves silly at Burger Spot, enjoying a 1L mint chocolate chip shake for dessert, only on the trail. The frightening thing is that it wasn’t the
largest size!

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