Highlights: During four days off, Dirt Stew and I drove to Oakhurst to attend our friend’s wedding. We scrubbed ourselves clean, worried about food and met wonderful people before driving back to Tehachapi and making mail drops for the next and final section of the trail: desert.
Day 93: Stuck at mile 566.5, 0 miles
October 2nd: We had a full day off in Tehachipi before making a move to the wedding. We got made contact with White Jeep, and he told us Halfmile finished his hike and was heading back down to Southern California and could stop by and pick up the data off our GPS unit. A few hours later, Halfmile and his girlfriend Deb were hanging out with us in the lobby of the hotel sharing stories and downloading our data.
I was so glad we were able to make a back-up of the data. It would be horrible if our only copy of the GPS data was somehow lost or messed up somehow in the field in the last 500 something miles of our trip. The rest of the day was spent gorging ourselves on various food, writing our last blog post, and cleaning ourselves up for the wedding.
Day 94: Stuck at mile 566.5, 0 miles
October 3rd: Today was the day we had to drive 3 or 4 hours up to Oakhurst for the wedding. Getting in the car, I knew it was going to be a long drive. Dirt Stew was the driver, and I was the map reader (aka terrified screaming person). “Watch out!!” I kept yelling. Being in a car going more than 3 miles an hour was terrifying, and knowing that Dirt Stew hadn’t driven in almost 4 months was not helping matters at all. We had to drive up Rt 99 which is probably one of the most awful roads I’ve ever been on. Eventually we made it, and met Don’s lovely family before crashing on the couch. I walked into the bathroom to brush my teeth, and saw a humongous spider in the doorway. I stepped around it thinking to myself how few spiders we’ve seen on the trail.
Day 95: Stuck at mile 566.5, 0 miles
October 4th: Today was wedding day! We had meticulously packed ourselves some fancy clothes and handed them to Don and Jenny before we started the PCT, and they brought our bags to us. As we opened them up, Dirt Stew realized he hadn’t packed any underwear. His hiking shorts had underwear in them, so he wasn’t actually carrying any on the PCT either. After trying to shop for some, we gave up, and Dirt Stew decided to wear his hiking shorts under his suit. “Nobody will notice” he said. With our fancy outfits on, we couldn’t help but laugh at the ridiculous tan lines I had.
I then noticed on the couch was another gigantic spider sitting on the pillow I had just slept on. There were more bugs in this house than on the whole trail! I showed Dirt Stew, and we laughed that we definitely didn’t have to worry about so many bugs while camping inside the bug netting of our tarp on the trail.
A few weeks before the wedding I had talked to Jenny about her preparations, “My mother and I went to do a tasting of the wedding food, and although the portions were small, we thought it was a quite filling meal!” She had said. When I told this to Dirt Stew he looked at me very worried “We have to prepare for this!” He said. “We need to bring some emergency food to the wedding, and eat a lot beforehand!”
As planned, we went to a pizza buffet 2 or 3 hours before the wedding started, and I stashed candy and granola bars in my purse. At the wedding, we were pleased to see our name tags with our trail names on them.
We were seated at the smallest table with just two other people. “They put us at the kids table!” Dirt Stew said jokingly. We introduced ourselves to the other couple. “Where do you live?” I asked. “Well, that’s a bit hard to say…” They both replied. “Oh goodie, interesting people!” Dirt Stew said. It turns out they were tour guides and lived out of their van most of the year. We weren’t at the kids table, we were at the homeless table!
Don and Jenny made there way from table to table, and stopped at ours. “Have you figured out why you’re at the same table yet?” She asked me, smiling. It was so nice to talk to another couple with alternative lifestyles, and with a good sense of humor. Every dish that came out, the four of us started laughing hysterically at how small the portions were. “I think a unicorn sneezed on my forkful of lettuce” Jeanie said looking at her salad.
None of us had ever been to such a fancy dinner. “We have extra food in the van if you guys want.” They offered. “Don’t worry, I have some food in my purse.’ I said pulling out a few granola bars and handing one to Dirt Stew. I took a sip of champagne and gobbled my granola bar before heading outside to dance the night away.
Day 96: Stuck at mile 566.5, 0 miles
October 5th: The drive back was even more boring and long than the ride there because we decided to stop at stores along the way to make some resupply boxes for the desert. We packed the car full of food and boxes and arrived at our hotel room in Tehachapi and spent several hours repackaging food before collapsing in a heap. We both are more than ready to get back to the trail. Our legs were feeling restless and civilized life was too sophisticated for us. I really missed having all my belongings within arms reach. Now everything was all over the place- in the hotel room, in the car, in the bathroom etc. It will be nice to get back to the trail tomorrow and continue our journey. The break was fun, and hopefully has done a lot for the injury in my hip