Scott hikes on a narrow ridge
with views west to the Tehachipi
area as well as mountains
excavated for aquaduct materials.
This same ridge also offers
views southeast across the
desert to Mojave and beyond.
Amy stops to fix her feet and
mix up a batch of Crystal Light.
A good example of
a Witch's Broom.
A "horny toad" lizard. These
guys have been all over the place
for weeks, so we finally decided
it was high time to take a picture.
At 4 am, there was a knock on our hotel door and upon opening it, we found Pepper, our
cab driver, ready to drive us out to the trail. (White's Motel would have driven us out
there at 6 a.m., but 6 a.m. is for pansies.)
This day will long be remembered by us as "the day of the people." For so long, we have hiked alone, without seeing anyone for days, and then suddenly-other people on the trail-and many of them.
We had just gotten underway, when we ran into David and Samuel, two nice guys who were breaking camp alongside the trail. We chatted for a minute. Their trail name is the "Jesus Freaks." David used to be part of a gang and now is a Christian and carries three bibles in his pack--his and two small spares in case someone needs one. They are much faster hikers, having departed the border on May 31, and have not only managed to pass us, but also to take an entire week off besides. Good grief!
Later that morning, we were passed by two more hikers, Justin and Andy, also faster hikers, and really funny, who departed a week after us as well. We talked with them for quite a while.
They were also quite excited to meet "the Rigbys." (I think this is as close as we will ever get to being legends, so we'd best enjoy it, even if our fame only comes from someone following us for 5 weeks.)
At lunch, we arrived at Golden Oaks Spring to find all four lunching there also. The spring was filled with cows and their business. We also learned an unspoken trail rule: Last one to the spring sits next to the cow potty, and as luck would have it, that was us. All 6 of us ate, napped and talked some more.
The Forest Service had rehabilitated the spring and built a fence around the spring source to keep out the cows, but the cows had prevailed and had made a big mess of the place. In fact, while we were there, a cow leapt over the little fence. This spring was the only water for miles, so we were stuck with it. As we filtered our water, the filter became clogged (and it was a fairly new filter- we don't use a backup of iodine due to Scott's thyroid condition) We did not have our spare filter with us, but Justin and Andy loaned us theirs. We pumped water to last us a while since we didn't know if we could unclog our filter.
Presently, the Greyhound trio showed up as well. They made the acquaintance of David and Samuel, having already met the rest of us. After lunch, we all parted ways and continued hiking, sipping on our now warm cow potty tasting water all afternoon.
We hiked past many more windmills. These windmills were extremely quiet, but still, altogether, sounded like the rushing of a freeway. There is a lot of controversy over the windmills. This farm got the go ahead to expand on BLM land. The guidebook says that it is estimated that each windmill displaces 1100 gallons of oil annually and reduces air pollutants by 1900 lbs. The locals don't like the windmills because, besides being eyesores, all the access roads to them have caused a lot of erosion. As there is a large problem with flash floods in the area, there have been some hazardous situations. However, the same locals are very proud of the aqueduct and don't seem to mind the fact that the mountains hereabouts were torn up to excavate building materials when it was constructed. Talk about eyesores and erosion!
We managed to complete 23 miles and retired satisfied and happy.