The alarm went off on my phone at 3:15 a.m., but the sound was off, so it was just vibrating on my nightstand. Somehow, I woke up 2 minutes later. Julia and Jacob wanted to come along to see me off, but it is really difficult for teenagers to wake up. I hugged them both and they turned over and went back to sleep. In less than 15 minutes, Jill and I were on the road.
My flights were uneventful andI landed on time.
I picked up Fish Tank at his friend Jim’s apartment in Hollywood. Jim is the same person who came out and saved me when I was injured. Even Fish Tank had difficulty recognizing me in civilian clothes and no beard. As we grabbed some lunch we tried to figure out what we were going to do. We are waiting for Chef and Feinschmecker to get to Walker Pass. As I lived in Southern California, there really wasn’t any tourist sites I wanted to see. We pondered driving up the coast.
On a whim, I proposed that we go to Tehachapi. I believed that Chef and Fein were getting into town today and we could surprise and meet up with them. So, that is what we did. Before that, I needed to stop at REI. I didn’t want to take one, but due to the late snow I need an ice axe for the Sierra Mountains, and buying it locally means I don’t have to ship it. I also needed a fuel canister, because I can’t take one on the plane.
As we drove close to Tehachapi, we stopped at the place where hikers commonly congregate. A well-known trail angel, Coppertone, was there providing magic. I’d rather have met Coppertone as a hiker, it is still cool to meet famous trail angels. We took a thru-hiker by the name of Rogue Fireball into Tehachapi providing trail magic of our own.
We are staying at a Best Western Express, the same place Jason stayed when he hiked through town.
We texted Fein with the excuse that we were asking for his location to estimate when to be at Walkers Pass. In reality we’re trying to figure out where and when we were going to meet them. Eventually, he called and said that he was .6 miles from the bus that takes hikers into Tehachapi. We scrambled into the rental car and drove aggressively to that location. We pulled up to where they were sitting and they recognized Fish Tank immediately. Me? They had no idea who I was until I said something. They were so glad to see us.
They checked into the same hotel, showed, and we went to a wine bar for some higher end food. It is good to get the family together.