Days 50 - 53
Miles These Days: 0
A big part of us leaving early for this trip was to be able to spend time with our friends and family along the way. Tehachapi was one of those intended stops....and it came at what seemed to be a perfect time. Not only did we need to take some time to replace some broken gear and/or switch out some items and cut wieght, but I (Tailgate) pretty much limped to Willow Springs Road on the 19th. A couple days prior, we were hiking on the aqueduct and I felt a sharp pain in my lower left leg. Luckily it was shortly before we stopped for the night and I didn't hike much more on it that day. However, the pain only seemed to get worse in the following days and by the time my Step-Sister Lisa picked us up, I was in quite a bit of pain. I think it's a case of shin splints, and by the time we were back at their house, my leg was pretty swollen. SO, this stop came just at the right time for us!
Since we've been here, we have been able to do our laundry, rest and have done some SERIOUS thinking about what we have been carrying. We've come to realize that starting out anyone could have told us we were carrying X, Y and Z that we didn't need it and we would have just smiled and kept on carrying it. But 500+ miles has made us go over our packs time and time again while here; thinking about every ounce we are carrying and if we really need it or not. Now, we know our packs will change even more in the near future, but we are pretty happy with the changes we have made while here.
Twist has sent home almost half of our medical kit, our camera (we are now exclusively using the iPhone), and we have decided that due to lack of use to send home our HAM radio. The times we did use it we really enjoyed it. Unfortunately though, it has just not justified the weight. We definently will be using out HAM radio on future trips.
I ended up making more changes as well. I switched to a much more basic (and lighter) pocket knife, sent home our Katadyn Hiker Pro water filter in order to switch to Aquamira drops, and switched out our old GPS with a newer, very slightly, lighter version due to the fact our previous one's reciever went out.
Another change we both decided to make was in regard to our socks. I myself in particular have had a heck of a time trying to get more than a couple days max out of a pair of socks withought putting a hole in them, and per a couple recommendations from other hikers we have decided to try out Vermont Darn Tough Socks. They come with a lifetime guarantee and if I get a hole in a pair of them I can exchange them for a brand new pair no questions asked. Sounded pretty good to us, so we will see how they work out. We made many more changes than this but they were too many to list. Along with our time spent on gear, Twist focused on backing up all of our pictures from the trip thus far and has uploaded them onto our Picasa site which you can view HERE.
We have been shown so much hospitality while here that we can't thank David, Lisa and their daughters Ashley and Cressa enough! We've been given a place to sleep, been fed and have been able to take a car whenever we've needed to, they have truly been trail angels for us. Thank you guys!
Of course, along with all the SERIOUS hiking business there is always time to play on a zero day. One of the days here, we took a couple hours and rode quads over to a local winery where we tasted wine right next to Mickey Jones! Now some of you might not recognize the name, but he had a re-occuring role on one of Twist and I's all time favorite shows "Home Improvement". He was one of the construction workers who appeared on Tim Allen's character's show "Tool Time". It may seem small, but for us it was pretty cool.
Lisa (above) and I getting ready to head over to the winery.
And NO hiker's zero day (or a couple zeros in this case) would be complete withought food. We ate plenty during our stay, but we did our best to represent the hiker hunger at the local Chinese buffet.
Thank you David and Lisa!
Tomorrow we are heading out (wether my leg is ready or not) and should be in Kennedy Meadows by the 1st or 2nd of June after a quick in-and-out resupply in Lake Isabella.