Day 7 & 8: Windmills and Hot Springs

Day 7

We woke up in a motel in Palmdale, with all three of us sharing a king bed laying perpendicular to the headboard. After a long day and evening of biking, to avoid the Rowher fire, we had ended up booking a room at the cheapest place we could find. We decided to cook breakfast on our backpacking stoves (right outside the room) to make as much oatmeal as possible in order to push the 52 miles to Tehachapi. It was a long and tiresome journey through the driest and hottest valley we’d been through yet. Never ending stretches of hazy roads lead us up a pass that consisted only of windmills and brush. In an attempt to readjust my derailleur, we made a stop on the side of the road which turned into over an hour of covering myself in sweat and grease with no positive results. Lucky for us, upon arriving into Tehachapi I found a small family bike shop that helped me adjust my bike for free and wished us luck on our ride. After a large meal from the Thai restaurant next door we decided to continue our ride to scour for any place off the road to end the day. We came to a small park after about 10 miles and thought it would be perfect, a beautiful view and even a soft dirt patch to lay our tent. Within the hour we realized that the choice we made was clearly a mistake. A large section of tracks a few hundred of feet below us comprised the Tehachapi loop, a frequently used rail line that had trains coming all through the night. The screeching halt of a 30-40 car train pierced our ears as we lay trying to fall asleep that night. The fatigue eventually overpowered the yells of scraping metal and we caught some shuteye in the wee hours of the night.

Day 8

This was a special day for a few reasons. The major climb ahead of us would end in a reunion of friends and a satisfying finish to the first of the 5 sections. Our friends from San Luis Obispo had decided to meet us up at Miracle Hot Springs for a celebration. We crossed over three passes that day and the climbing was starting to become easier on the legs and soul. Arriving in the late afternoon, we waited for our friends to finish the drive eastwards with a cool dip in the Kern River. The water sources had been sparse before then and this cold and fast flowing river was the thing we all desperately needed. Once our friends began filing in the feasting begun, I ate more in the coming hours than I had in the past few days combined. The appetizer was pea protein filled brownies from Keekee and the entree a heaping portion of soyrizo and bean tacos. As the night withered away and food was still left in the pan I made myself taco after taco, trying to fill the empty crater that was my stomach. A beautiful night among friends came to close and our first rest was the following day.

These are the beautiful tan lines that we have been working on!

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