Day 54, May 19th – Getting a hitch on highway 58 did not look hopeful. Cars were whizzing past us at 70 mph and most just switched lanes upon seeing us. But after only 15 mins a car pulled over for us. As soon as we climbed into the car we could tell the driver was a fellow hiker. His name was Vincet and he’d rented a car to go to REI for some gear and was headed back to the trail today. He was a great chauffeur, giving us the grand tour of Tehachapi (what everyone said about Tehachapi is true – it’s a lovely town but very spread out) and then dropping us off at the post office since there was no one around at the motel we were hoping to stay at. But it seemed providential when a kind PCT enthusiast at the post office offered to host us for the night. He dropped us off at the Village Grill in town so he could sort out a few things and pick us up a bit later. After a breakfast of a tub of ice cream followed by eggs, french toast, bacon & sausage we sorted out our food for the trail.
We phoned our host to get an update only to find out he’d forgot he was going out of town that day so we couldn’t stay there. Dismayed we began walking to the library and discussing whether we should just get back on the trail immediately or if we could afford a motel. As we were walking down the main street a yellow car pulled up beside us and a lady named Heidi asked if we needed a ride back to the trail. “Maybe,” Dan responded, “We’re trying to figure out if we’re going to stay in Tehachapi or head back to the trail.”
“Oh, well if you need a place to stay you could stay with us,” she offered. Hmmm……
So that’s how we ended up being hosted by Heidi & Jerry… two amazing new Trail Angels in Tehachapi. We spent the afternoon in their beautiful home drinking raspberry juice out of dainty vintage glass cups and chatting with Heidi. She let us shower and use her laptop, set a gorgeous fruit spread before us and we had a wonderful time talking about everything from stink bugs to Obama to faith to prison to organic gardening. It was such refreshing and stimulating conversation and Heidi knew lots of interesting tidbits about the biology and history of the area.
Dan cooked up a delicious dinner just in time for their son Jon, a senior in high school, to join us but unfortunately Jerry had to work late. Then they took us out for cheesecake at the new Al Pacino restaurant in town and we watched Doubt before cowboy camping in their plush lawn.
Day 55 Then in the morning we met Jerry and then insisted on taking us out to Mama Hillybean’s, a cool organic cafe in town where we ran into Get Out & met Atlas. We enjoyed a delectable breakfast and then they dropped us off at the trailhead. Wow… the kindness of strangers! But we’re so thankful they’re not strangers to us anymore!