Mile 552 to 559.

We woke up in our cowboy camp near the wind farm, which was surprisingly not windy last night. There were only seven miles left until the trail would cross Tehachapi Willow Springs Road, our hitch spot to get into town, and it was all down hill!

I snuck away and took some photos while  the others were still getting ready.

As we descended, we slowly entered the wind farm and walked beneath the 300 foot towers, which can generate upto 1.5 megawatts of power each.

Before we knew it, we were at the road. When it was just Burnout, Valdy, Bedazzled, and me, we always fit in the same hitch, but now that the sisters are with us, we need to split up into two groups. Luckily, we both got hitches quickly.

Tom, who works for the power company that runs the wind farm, picked the sisters and me up and told us all about the wind turbines and how environmentalists love them, but animal rights activists hate them. Apparently, the turbines aren’t only good at generating power, but they also excel at killing birds, such as the Californian Condor, Golden and Bald Eagles, and Red Tail Hawks. Tom also told us about the different snakes in the area including the Mojave Green Rattlesnake , which is extremely venomous and aggressive. The only solace is that hospitals in the area carry the anti-venom.  Later Burnout and Valdy told us they got a hitch from a women with a car full of exotic snakes. The lady said she did educational seminars for kids in the area, but they weren’t so sure that was true.

We ate a massive breakfast at Henry’s Cafe in Tehachapi where the wait staff was very nice. I highly recommend it. Next on the list was Starbucks. Vipr (short for Virgin Pee Rag) and Fun Dip had gift card from their aunt and they treated us all to the drink of our choice. A big thanks to them and their aunt. While there, Burnout struck up a conversation with a man and his wife. After the man left, his wife came back in and gave Burnout his business card with $100 hidden underneath. Later we heard that his daughter is also into backpacking and that he wanted to help support our journey. Thank you so much Ernesto! Instead of sleeping in a field at the airport we got a hotel room for the six of us.

As we were leaving Starbucks, Bedazzled realized she had forgotten her trekking poles somewhere. Burnout was sure he saw them at the trailhead so he, Vipr, and I hitched back to the trailhead to look for them while the rest of the crew went to Kmart to buy some town clothes. Unfortunately, there were no poles at the trailhead, which meant someone had taken them. Bedazzled can’t set up her tent without the poles so this could get interesting. Between B&V, they have an extra pair of trekking poles they could loan Bedazzled at night so all is not lost. What would this little frauline do without us?

The worst part of going back to the trailhead was that it was in midday heat and it took us 45 minutes to get a hitch to Mojave where we would stay for the next few days.

For the first night, we stayed at the Best Value, which failed to live up to its name. They try to nickle and dime you for everything. I would definitely not recommend it.

The funniest thing that happened that night was when Fun Dip told us a story from her time working as a veterinarian’s assistant. After the veterinarian neutered a dog one day, she decided to test out the rumor that you could turn the newly castrated balls into bouncy balls by pouring hydrogen peroxide over them. She claims that she got the balls to bounce as high as her shoulders. We secretly suspect that she still has the set of balls. Probably next to the hair dolls in her closet.

I also wanted to mention the people of Tehachapi since they have by far been the kindest people we have met on trail so far. They are interested in what we are doing, giving us helpful advice, and just plain nice. I forgot to mention that a little girl even asked her dad to buy us bagels at the grocery store, which he obligingly did. Thanks little Lilian!

I never thought I would tell someone they smile like a bagel, but Fun Dip proved me wrong.

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