After 24 miles yesterday, seven in the heavy wind, it was not abnormal for us to feel exhausted as we stepped out onto the trail today. We were not so beat by the wind that today's hike was intolerable, but we were definitely feeling yesterday's walk today. Add that to the fact that today's trail had the proclivity to be indirect and confusing, and you have a harder than normal day, despite the low mileage and the call of town.
Most of the trail today was bisected, intersected, crossed, and crisscrossed by motorcycle trails or ATV trails. At times this made it frustrating, because it was difficult to tell which path was the trail. Other times, the paths were appreciated because they provided a more direct path from 'A' to 'B'. Today's trail had the proclivity to do some unusually indirect paths. In reality, the trail out today should have only been about 14-15 miles, but due to some illogical trail design, it was 17 miles.
On the bright side, the grading of the trail was amazing at times. For several miles today, we crossed a flat footpath that was carved into the hillside. All plants near encroachment had been cut back, and we were traveling on tread that was four feet wide at times. Of the 560 miles, today's walk included some of the best tread we have experienced.
After roughly 12 miles, we found a decent flat spot and cooked a serious lunch, trying to eat the rest of the food we were carrying. Once consumed we laid down for an hour nap, before hitting the final stretch of trail. For the last five miles we could see the highway, which we slowly wound our way towards.
Two miles before the end, we were detoured because of construction around the massive hypnotic wind turbines. The posted detour sign pointed downhill, where no trail existed, so we were forced to bushwhack our way down. Fortunately, it was all easy small vegetation, but we never really found the trail again. Since the trail disappeared, we cut cross country to a jeep road, and followed the jeep road out to the highway. Just before reaching the highway, we had to crawl under a barbed wire fence to get out of the private property we somehow found ourselves on.
Rumor mills had stated that the hitch to Tehachapi would be hard, so I immediately crossed the highway and stuck my thumb out. Thirty seconds later, the first passing truck pulled over and gave us a ride into town. Time to relax and resupply.
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