Another week has come and gone and Dan and I find ourselves in Tehachapi. Dan finally earned a trailname: The Answer Man. Ask him a question and you will understand why.
After leaving the Saufley's in Agua Dulce, Answer Man and I hiked a couple more days to the Anderson's house dubbed "Casa de Luna." Answer Man gave it his own name "Casa de Loco." It's almost an impossible place to describe. Joe and Terry Anderson have opened their house and surrounding property to hiker's who happen to be passing through. When I arrived, there were hikers playing guitar, hikers playing drums on pots and pans, hikers passed out on lawn furniture, hikers staring off into space, hikers playing with dogs, hikers sleeping in the "Magical Manzanita Forest," all the while wearing the mandatory Hawaiian shirt. Answer Man, Indie, and i enjoyed a couple of cold beers and rested our weary hiking bodies. After a dinner of taco salad, provided by Terry, the evening brought more of the same. Morning brought pancakes prepared by Joe Anderson. After breakfast, Answer Man, Indie, Blackgum and I escaped the Vortex and continued our hike out of the fly infested Angeles National Forest.
It was a tough stretch of trail the following couple of days. Not only were the flys unbearable at times, water was constantly on our minds. After only a couple days of hiking, we arrived at a place called Hikertown. Another place almost impossible to describe. It's located on the floor of the Antelope Valley in the Mojave desert. The owner Richard swears he hates hikers and only gives us a place to stay because his wife makes him. I think deep down he loves us. A garage has been set aside for hikers to relax, rehydrate, and escape the oppressive desert sunshine and heat that the area is known for. Richard told us he used to keep a Ferrari and a couple of Rolls Royces in the garage we now found ourselves relaxing in. Later that night, after several trips into town to buy food, Answer Man, Indie, Blackgum, Mountain Tripper, and Hiker X spent the evening watching "Paint Your Wagon" starring Clint Eastwood.
The next morning began the trek across the desert floor. It was a fascinating hike along the California and LA aqueducts. Thankfully, temperatures were not all that hot and a steady breeze kept us cool throughout the day. Before long, the day was over and we had successfully and somewhat painlessly crossed the desert floor, and the dreaded aqueduct section was over. The next day, we hiked into and over the Tehachapi mountains, passed another wind farm, and hitched a ride into the town of Tehachapi. Answer Man has a knack for getting hitches on the first or second extension of his thumb. Yesterday was no different as we received a ride from the first car that drove by. Last night we stayed at the Ranch Motel with Hiker X and Blackgum. Locals refer to it as the "Rank Motel," but it's been an enjoyable stay for us. Tonight we will stay one more night, Indie has arrived this afternoon, and we will head out early tomorrow morning. Next stop, Kennedy Meadows, and the long awaited Sierra Nevada. Thanks for reading...
Flyboxer and Answer Man.
Michael, I just sent the chip today. It should arrive in a few days.