Day 40 – Landers Campground to Bird Spring Pass, mile 631

May 30. Got an good start, hit the trail at 6am. Slept super good. Second night in the new tent… Maybe it was the early time to go to bed…

The new tent is awesome. Actually bigger inside than the MSR. Pitching it was easy so far.

Rock formations in the morning sun

Today would be a day where we would be fully relying on water caches. There was only one off trail spring in case of emergency.

Hot day with soft sandy trail – not much shade today.

Only Joshua trees provide some shade

Carried two liters only, first stop after 7 miles at the the next water cache at mile 616. Took three liters from there for the 15 miles to the next water cache and planned tentsite for today at Bird Spring pass, mile 631.

At mile 621.5 is the 1000 KM marker… Now that’s an achievement… ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜œ

1000km. #metricsystemrules

Lunch break at mile 622, combined with longer siesta. Limited shade, everyone tries to hide under a Joshua tree.

Sitting under a Joshua tree

Album of today: The Joshua Tree – U2

Bird Spring pass was very exposed in the wind. We were glad to see that there was sufficient water in the cache, bit finding a protected spot for the tents would not be easy.

I pitched mine at a not so optimal spot… The ground was really soft and the wind was strong. I tried to give additional hold for the stakes with several rocks… But not too much improvement. The tent kept flapping in the wind and I would have very little sleep that night.

Day 35 – From Tylerhorse Canyon via Springs Road to Tehachapi, mile 558

May 25. We had planned a very early start the day before, but that didn’t really work out. So today we woke up around 4am and hit the trail by at 5am. There were just 17 miles to the highway crossing that would take us with hitchhiking to Tehachapi and with that to the long anticipated break… Food, laundry, shower…

We have been constantly increasing the daily mileage… so even this 17 miles day feels like half a day or a nero. ๐Ÿ˜‰

After some more altitude gain, the trail descended constantly with a view on a very big wind farm.

Song of today: Come on, come on – Billy Idol

My blister still hurt, but the thought of a break in Tehachapi helped pushing forward. We made it to the highway crossing around 1pm… and as usual, getting a hitchhike was no problem at all. Thank you Tehachapi citizens for being so hiker friendly!

Hitchhiking with two dogs on the back seat. Everyone is happy, and the dogs enjoyed licking some dirty and sweaty hikers…
Food at Denny’s just opposite of the hotel

After lunch checking in to the Holiday Express, I picked up my new home for the next 5 months… My ZPacks Duplex tent! ๐Ÿ˜ So excited…

Left: MSR Hubba hubba (1.7kg), right: Zpacks Duplex (0.6kg)

We didn’t really do much in the evening. After dinner at Subway’s, everyone was just exhausted. Two more lazy days in town with lots of food, rest and a movie or two to come.

Day 33 – from Sawmill Campground to Highway 138 crossing, mile 518.

500 miles walked, just 2150 more to go to Canada. ๐Ÿ˜

May 23. Got up around 6am, on trail around 7am. Shortly after, we got to the 500 miles marker singing the “I would walk 500 miles” song

Song of today: I’m gonna be (500 miles) – The Proclaimers

The trail continued once again through beautiful changing landscapes.

Walking towards highway 138

Coming to the highway 138 crossing, I went with Tinkle to have a look at Hikertown. There were some rumors and discussions on Guthook (app) about Hikertown, so we decided to ask the people from Wee Vill Market for a pickup.

Pickup in a big RV

It was a good decision. The food was great (Double cheese and bacon burger), we got to pitch our tents next to the shop for free as well as hot showers.

The night would be short though since we planned an early start to walk the aquaduct and crossing the Mojave tomorrow.

Day 28 – Tentsite to North Fork Ranger Station, mile 436

May 18. Started us usual around 7am. Planned to be at a fire station in 7 miles – there were supposed to be either softdrinks available or the opportunity to get pizza delivered. Arriving there, we realized that the station was basically dead. We could have ordered pizza, but considering opening hours and wait time, we just filled up water and moved on.

Camped at the North Fork ranger station at mile 436. Since the designated tentsites were full, we moved downhill into some old horse stalls. Everyone got his own little stall to set up his tent.

Song of today: Ginuwine – Pony

Under peer pressure, I tried wiping my feet clean – after three days on dusty trails, not that easy.

When going to bed, I already noticed humidity settling on the sleeping bag… Camping on the grass might after all be not a great idea.

After 24 miles, too tired to change the setup of the tent.

Day 27 – Little Jimmy’s campground to tentsite mile 412

May 17. We left camp around 7am, walked two miles to a highway crossing. We decided for a 6 miles road walk to avoid the endangered species detour of the PCT.

The PCT itself is closed around here for several miles to protect the habitat of an endangered frog species actually. Walking along the highway was a new experience including some tunnels. Now I know why my headlamp has a blinking mode as well.

Coming back to trail, we quickly reached the 400 miles marker! That’s 640km… ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

The gang at mile 400 marker

We pushed on to water at mile 411, camped shortly after at 412.

That was a good and long day. I feel I keep pushing my limits. Good feeling to be really tired in the evening and looking back at a 20+ miles day.

Song of the day: Her – We Choose

Day 23 – Tentsite via Cajon Pass to tentsite, mile 356

May 13, Mother’s day.

Ascend to Cajon

Started walking 8am, made to McDonald’s at Cajon pass at 930am.

Someone was practicing aim…
PCT sign with McDonald’s
McDonald’s at Cajon Pass

The time at McDonald’s was special. There were at any time probably 10 PCT hikers with their packs, dirt in the face and bad smell present. Other guests were kind of curious. Whenever I noticed that, I offered an explanation to the people in the next booth. Feedback was always the same – people not only understand but were impressed and congratulated more than once for the courage. And often enough there was a “I wish I could do that”. One guy said he wished he had the time, but he has only one lifetime to spend… My answer “exactly” made him laugh.

Left 1pm. Lots of thoughts about how much water to carry. 27 miles and more than 5000 feet altitude without water. I opted for 3 liters for hiking and 2 for dry camping… Later it would turn out to be more than enough.

Then after first 5 miles there was a water cache at 3pm. Drank some and pushed on. Arrived at 4.40pm at 10 miles, 5200 feet. Amazing view.

Song of today: Sitting on top of the world – Chris Goss

One hiker who prefers to remain anonymous addressed the trail/landscape after enjoying the amazing view alone for 30min, realizing how easy the ascend was so far:

“You are my beautiful bitch”

We wanted to finish at least half of the ascend to Wrightwood, so we kept pushing until around 7.15pm with 14 miles in, a total 18 miles day. 6200 feet, coming from a low around 2700.

Awesome view on the clouds pushing over the mountains.

Sea of clouds
Camping above the clouds

Day 22 – From Grass Valley Creek to tentsite, mile 338

May 12. Started 6.30am. wind was not as bad during the night as we thought.

On trail

At 11am we came to the Cleghorn picnic area, ordered pizza and softdrinks together with some hikers from new Zealand. Started hiking again 2pm. Plan was to do at least 20 miles.

Walked along another dam, wondering about its purpose in this dry stretch.

Shortly after, the view opened up with another surprise today…

While we were carrying water enough to dry camp before coming to Cajon pass tomorrow, there was a big lake / water reservoir on the other side!

Walking by people bbq’ing at the shore… They say your senses improve when you hike long distances… I can swear I smelled hickory flavored BBQ from far away…. ๐Ÿ˜‚

We came to a tentsite about 18 miles from where we started today – not enough. I offered a friendly shakedown to Stefan, another hiker from Germany we ran into at the hot springs.

Quite a big pack

After drying our shoes and feet and enjoying the afternoon sun with some music, we pushed on another 2 miles to complete the 20 for today. Looked for some sheltered tentsites since the wind kept blowing.

Song of today: Eddie Vedder – Guaranteed

Pitched the tents around 7pm

Will sleep long tomorrow… (6.30am), only 3-4 miles to McDonald’s. There, we will eat, resupply and plan the ascend to Wrightwood.