Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tehachapi, CA

Hey guys,
let me start this post off with a question: How many times a year do you think it rains in the Mojave Desert? Well my guess is not many. I can honestly say that I was there when it did though! Not only did it rain, but frigid cold winds whipped across the valley. It was miserable and not the desert experience I was expecting.

It started when we left Hiker Town on Sunday night. Hiker Town is a great little stop right at the beginning of the Mojave Desert stretch, where hikers can relax, get water, and even stay the night. We got there in mid-afternoon and just stayed a few hours to relax before we took off to night hike the 20 mile stretch through the Mojave that follows the LA aqueduct. We hiked until about midnight and decided we too tired to go any further, so we found a great spot to lay out our bags and space camp (formally known as cowboy camping, but we renamed it because we are not cowboys and as you lay in your bag you look up at space, lol). I woke up at 2:30am to a slight sprinkle of rain on my face, which was strange because there were no clouds in the sky for miles. The wind was just howling so much, it was pushing it over. I fell asleep and awoke once again about 3:00am to full on rain, soaking my goose-down sleeping bag. So I got up and somehow managed to pitch my tent in record time, in the strong winds. Morning rolled around and the rain nor the wind had stopped yet, but we got up anyway and began hiking again. It was terribly cold and there was fresh snow from the night in the mountains, no more than 1,000ft above us. It rained on and off all day, making for a long, miserable, cold Mojave adventure. Honestly, an adventure I'd like to never experience again!

Don't fear though, I did survive and made it to Tehachapi CA. A full service desert town, where I will resupply for the next 6 days or so that it will take for me to hike to Kennedy Meadows: The gateway to the Sierras! My mind is a mess at the moment, trying to figure out how my resupplies will work up in the high Sierras. Many of the supply points are still closed due to record snow fall this year. It's crazy thinking about mass amounts of snow, when I am still here in the desert. There are so many things that can and will go wrong, but I know everything will eventually work out in the end. I'm nervous and excited, just another leg of my adventure...

In my last big post, I mentioned how I think about food constantly. And believe me, that hasn't changed. It is amazing the amount of food a small guy like me can put down with a big hiker appetite. So I wanted to touch on the subject of what I've been eating on the trail. Variety is key when you eat fairly simple food constantly, so I try and mix it up whenever I can. Meals usually consist of one or more of the following items:

  • Pop tarts
  • Hostess Pastries (Honeybuns, Streusel Cakes, etc)
  • Granola w/ dried milk
  • Oatmeal w/ dried fruits
  • Carnation Instant Breakfast Shakes
  • Candy Bars (Snickers, Payday, Baby Ruth)
  • Fruit Snacks
  • Granola Bars
  • Clif Bars
  • Drink Mixes (Gatorade, Kool-aid, Iced tea)
  • Candy (Skittles, Gummies)
  • Crackers
  • Cookies
  • Trail Mix
  • Bread (Tortillas, flatbread, bagels)
  • Cheese (Sticks, blocks, pre-sliced)
  • Meat (Summer sausage, Salami, Jerky)
  • Crackers
  • Candy
  • Knorr Instant Sides (formally lipton, come in varieties of rice, pasta, and noodles.)
  • Mac and Cheese
  • Meat (Tuna, Salmon, Spam, Bacon bits)
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Candy
The nice thing about burning so many calories, is that I eat whatever I want, as much as I want. The junkier the food, the better, because it usually has more calories. I crave sugars, salts and fats to keep my mood and energy up. Now I'm hungry again just talking about all this great food haha!

Well that is about it for now. Time to do some shopping for my next weeks worth of food and of course get some more grub to eat while I'm here. Can't wait to get back on the trail and begin my last stretch towards the Sierras. Kennedy Meadows will be my last stop in Southern California, and then it's on to Central California. I'm at about mile 560 right now, which puts us just over the 1/5 mark of the entire trip. Time is starting to fly. Thanks for following everyone, I love you and miss you all a lot. Keep up the comments!


  1. Wow, 560 miles through those conditions, that is mind boggling in itself. Hopefully there will be a lot of snow melt in the Sierra's in the next couple of weeks. This has definately been a cool spring all over the western U.S. You may have to hang out in Kennedy Meadows for a few extra days or something(?). As you said everything will work out. We are all cheering you on back home. Be Safe and enjoy the journey.

  2. Your doing Awsome!your going to have a challenge north of Tehachapi Pass its alot of climbing and a pretty dry section there are only 2 water sources before you get to Walker Pass CG hopfully the trail angels are out in full force leaving plenty of water out there. Im hoping the water is on at Walker Pass CG last time I was there which was 2 weeks ago it wasent same goes for Kennedy Mdws.Your getting close if you need to resupply I will try to be there to lend a hand for whatever you need and believe me you will need it them Sierras are very challenging if you can keep me updated where you are between tehachapi pass and walker pass. Hang in there buddy Im rootin for you all the way.HyltonHiker

  3. Hey Cody, I had tried repeatedly to post a comment and could not. I talked to your Old Man today and he said he had that problem previously and had to uncheck "keep me logged on" or a similar phrase. So if this posts, that fixed it.

    I was curious about how you get around in the dark on the night hikes and how well you can see with just moonlight?

    Your description of "space camping" is a good one! I remember staring into the stars on our hikes and talking about space, etc. Very cool. Makes you feel small, huh?

    A lot of people check this blog and or ask about you.

    We are anxious to hear how the next part goes, with the snow.

    See Ya
    Walk On!

  4. On the night hikes we generally wear our headlamps, which provide just enough light to see the trail. Some nights the moonlight is enough, especially when it is full. The stars are really great without light from cities out here.