Ice axes. Post-holing. Emergency beacons. SOS buttons. This is the fear mongering that is in the chattering amoungst hikers in the last week or so. Dumb. After all, the Sierras are only about 140 miles away. At a my typical pace (25mi/day) I would easily be there in less than 1 week. Also dumb. PCT detour? Smart. Less miles per day? Smart. Where to go? What to do? Oh the options.
(The sand says it all.)
After recharging in Tehachapi with a double-zero (two days off), I started up some conversations with people about renting a car and doing a side-trip to allow the Sierra snow to melt a little longer. Many hikers have “summit fever”. I remember that from my Appalachian Trail thru-hike. I get it. Others were on the fence and just simply felt guilty for leaving the trail for 3-4 days. Again, I get it. I was doing this regardless though. I am in no rush to get to the Sierras. I’d rather enjoy them, instead of having to struggle through them. Dumb.
Sure enough, I found a partner in crime. Tumbleweed. We’ve been unintentionally leap-frogging for a few weeks now anyways so our pace seems to be similar. So, after a brainstorming session and some seat-of-our-pants decisions, we were off to a different kind of sand. That of the beach variety.
(Tumbleweed. In her element.)
We rode a public-bus to Bakersfield, picked up the rented car, and headed to Malibu for a house-hunting trip. The goal? Sleep on the beach. Another goal? Not get arrested.
After exploring Leo Carrillo State Park, we found a cove laid out tarps, dropped grocery bags, and successfully pulled off the homeless look for the billionth time. The park was pretty awesome.
(Yep. Homeless for sure.)
There were also tidepools full of crabs and other crazy things. . (Again, view videos directly from https://thethruhike.com/blog/ since they do not display on emails)
Next on the agenda, gear returns. We both switched out air mattresses at REI in Oxnard and were anxious to test them out. In the mountains. After all, don’t need these trail legs wasting away too quickly. Tumbleweed found a trail in Los Padres National Forest immediately followed by a rattlesnake. We did a short hike into a canyon and set up by a river. This house was pretty nice too.
(Casa numero dos.)
(This house came with an oven.)
Eventually we decided to end our last night on the beach again. This time it was a different state park whose name escapes me. Near Malibu though. It was pretty incredible. Awesome rock formations, caves, and someone had hacked down some bamboo to build a make-shift canopy in the cliff. Home number three.
(Still keeping it classy with tarps and bags.)
The following morning we rolled back to Tehachapi, resupplied, offered hikers some rides around town since we had the rental car still, and a I got my dachshund-fix.
(Rupert is 14 and incredible.)
I guess it’s time to do that whole hiking thing again now…
(Another random pic dump below)