PCT Week 8 – Tehachapi Mile 550 to Mile 618

The eighth week on the Pacific Crest Trail is over and has been marked by indescribable trail magic, pain and intense dreams that raise questions about the trail. I hiked from Tehachapi at Mile 550 to Mile 618 somewhere in the desert. You can read all about what happened in this article. If you missed the contribution of the seventh week, click here for the article: PCT Week 7.

Map – Pacific Crest Trail Week 8

November 10, 2019 2:00 pm
  • Distance 102.16 km
  • Time 25 h 32 min
  • Speed 4.0 km/h
  • Min altitude 1148 m
  • Peak 2070 m
  • Climb 3272 m
  • Descent 3770 m
  • Distance Instructions
Label

Day 50: On my way to Tehachapi 

Day: May 25th 2019
Distance: 8 mi, 12,8 km
Accumulated: 558 mi, 892.8 km

In the morning the sun shines and we dry our clothes which are still wet from the previous day and night. Afterwards it goes 8 miles downhill to the road to Tehachapi.

José is already waiting on the highway and wants to drive us in his car to Tehachapi. “I have to go to work in 45 minutes and I wanted to do something good first.” This Trailangel work on the PCT is unbelievably great. Thank you José!

In Tehachapi José takes us to the Hiker point “Wits’ End”, where we are greeted by Dalton. We’re trying to figure out where to spend the night. However, since Memorial Day is imminent, the search is not so easy.

Suddenly Rachel and her daughter Tela are standing in the room. Rachel also gives us tips for accommodation and restaurants. As we are on our way to the next restaurant, Tela comes running after us and says “You can all sleep with us. We have a big house and enough space.” Wow, more Trailmagic. Rabbit Rabbit, Mockingjay, Seashells, Lawrence of Cascadia, OilKing and me (six Hikers) have a bed.

After a visit at the local bakery, the Thai restaurant “Thai Hatchape” and the supermarket we go to Rachel and Telas place, where we are greeted by Rachel’s husband Ian, the three dogs Benjamin, Hawthorn and Olli, as well as the cat Windy and the chicken Mrs. Maybell. Next we shower, wash our clothes and then eat something. We all get beautiful onesies as loaner clothes so we don’t have to walk around the apartment naked.

Day 51 & 52: Two unplanned rest days in Tehachapi

Day: May 26th and 27th 2019
Distance: 0 mi, 0 km
Accumulated: 558 mi, 892.8 km

The next morning there is a storm warning for the Tehachapi area with strong winds. Rachel says immediately: “During this weather you will not go on the trail for the next two days. It’s too dangerous.” There’s no objection from our side.

Afterwards we drive to the supermarket to shop to plan the next part on the PCT to Walker Pass. We also pack all food packages for the Sierra, as the resupply in Kennedy Meadows can be very expensive.

In the evening, Rachel cooks Mac and Cheese for us. This is an US American food almost all children in the USA grow up and love it. After our first experiences with Mac and Cheese on the trail of the companies Kraft, Annie’s, Knorr and Co we are not really convinced. But Rachel changes our minds very quickly.

Afterwards friends of Ian and Rachel come to visit us and we celebrate a fantastic evening at the campfire with guitar, banjo and music.

The next day we just sit in front of the TV and watch movies, “Game of Thrones” and relax.

Day 53: Back on the PCT

Day: May 28th 2019
Distance: 6,4 mi, 10,24 km
Accumulated: 572 mi, 916.64 km

In the morning we all have breakfast and decide to go back on the trail as the weather has improved. The second daughter of Rachel and Ian is Emma and makes marshmallows with Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast. Tastes damn good and brings calories into the body.

Afterwards there is a farewell photo and Rachel drives us back to the trail. Many thanks to Rachel and her family for your Trailmagic. It was just beautiful with you guys!

Back on the trail it goes steeply uphill after a flat piece. The wind on the mountain is so strong, you can hardly get ahead. I can’t imagine how strong the wind blows in stormy weather and I’m glad I sat out the storm.

After 6.4 miles I find a protected campground and decide to wait for the others. The wind on the mountain is so strong and cold that I can hardly feel my fingers despite my gloves. The others arrive at the campground totally exhausted and frozen and are happy to set up their tent. OilKing was faster on this day and walked on to the next campground.

Day 54: A long day on the PCT

Day: May 29th 2019
Distance: 20 mi, 32 km
Accumulated: 592.9 mi, 948.64 km

The weather is good and after the rest days in Tehachapi I hoped that my blisters on both feet would get better. However, after a few miles I notice new blisters and increasing pain. On this day I arrived very late at the campground and immediately treated my feet.

Day 55: Long Breaks and Pain

Day: May 30th 2019
Distance: 9,2 mi, 14,72 km
Accumulated: 602.1 mi, 963.36 km

In the morning I walk the first 6 miles without a break and then have breakfast with Mockingjay and Rabbit Rabbit. Seashells and OilKing are added shortly afterwards. Lawrence of Cascadia has slept a little longer and follows. The breakfast was good, but I can hardly walk afterwards. The blisters on my feet just hurt too much.

I decide not to run a long distance that day and set up my tent at Robin Bird Spring with Lawrence of Cascadia and Seashells. The new shoes were a clear mistake and I will have to change my hiking strategy in the next few days.

Day 56: The strength is to be found in serenity

Day: May 31st 2019
Distance: 15,6 mi, 24,96 km
Accumulated: 617.7 mi, 988.32 km

On this day I decide to start earlier and begin around 6:00 to catch up with the others. OilKing has a package in Onyx and must be there before the weekend. Rabbit Rabbit and Mockingjay also walked a few miles further than me the night before.

Around 11:00 I catch up with them and we walk on after a short break. The part before us is notorious and feared in hot years. There are hardly any water sources and almost no shade. I’ll take as much water as I can. In this case it means 5 litres of water.

I walk relaxed to spare my feet. During the lunch break I stare into the sky for hours and watch the clouds. I’m thinking about a dream last night: I am sitting at the airport in Germany and am looking forward to the PCT, but I haven’t started yet.

As I watch the clouds I wonder why my subconscious thinks I am still in Germany after 7 weeks on the PCT. It feels like I haven’t arrived on the trail yet.
At this moment, for the first time, I am asking myself how I would like to walk the Pacific Crest Trail.


The eighth week on the Pacific Crest Trail is over. My feet hurt and I am uncertain about the further course of the trail. It still goes on on the PCT and you can be curious.

If you liked this article, I’m happy about a Like, a heart or a smile on your face. If you have questions, suggestions or criticism, I look forward to your comments.

Greetings, Martin

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Hi, I'm Martin and I love hiking. In 2012 I had my first big hike on the Camino de Santiago. Since then I am hiking addicted and write as HikeJunkie on this blog.
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