We woke this morning and went to breakfast at Kelcy's diner with Axilla, Duff, General Lee, and Train. The waitress was a riot. She had a lot of fun playing with General Lee (who had come previously) and his southern accent. General Lee is from Georgia and has a soft drawl in his voice, sure to woo any woman. The waitress even sang a little dixie song complete with a marching dance and a salute.
After breakfast, we made our way back to the room to pack up our bags, and get ready for a nice short 8 mile slack pack. Georgette, the lady Apricots and Psycho met at the post office, was kind enough to drive us to the trail. Prior to taking us to the trail, she drove us to a sporting goods store. Psycho went over to the grocery store and grabbed 5 gallons of water.
Once dropped off at the trail, we stashed the water under a bush. The purpose of this was to enable those who did not slack pack today to have a water cache for their hike tomorrow. Without the cache, it would be a 25 mile stretch without water. Now they can have water after 8 miles, leaving a 17 mile stretch after the cache.
Psycho, Apricots, Sir Richard Wizard, Axilla, and Square Peg set out for the quick eight mile leg. One mile down the slack pack, we ran into four other hikers who were slack packing the same section today. We said our hello's and goodbye's, and made our ascent to a wind turbine covered hilltop. Three quarters of the way up the hill, the five of us rested on a small footbridge, looking out on the large hill we will be climbing tomorrow as we head out of Tehachapi.
Once atop the hill, we spent the next hour skipping down the trail, free of packs. The large wind turbines whirred hypnotically overhead as the wind blew past gently caressing the hillside flowers. Scattered California Poppies highlighted the landscape in random bursts of deep orange. With the absence of packs, we felt light and free, so at times we turned to running down the trail.
About two hours after we started, our slack packing was over. We arrived back at the road, where we put our thumbs out. In the absence of packs, a collective of hikers looks like a dangerous pack to pick up, dirty, hairy, and vagrant. Usually near a trail town, people with backpacks are picked up easily, but that was not the case today. We were aware of this problem, so we had brought a list of Trail Angels with us and called one for a ride. While waiting for him to arrive, another two hikers walked up. One was continuing on, while the other opted to catch a ride back to town with our Trail Angel.
Back to the motel we went, where we showered, made a few phone calls, and then went to dinner. Tehachapi is the last decent sized town for the next month or so, so we decided to get a good meal in while we could. Now Apricots and Psycho are back at the motel, sharing a room with Uncle Tom and Pat Burglar.
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