Date: June 6, 2017
Miles: 8.8 miles (14.2km), from mile 549.7 to Willow Springs Road.
Health: My right shin hurts so bad I can barely walk.
I slept like a rock. The night was cool and I had set up my camp on soft pine needles. I woke up to others rustling their gear. I turned around and saw that Blis and Sunshine were still sleeping so I didn't hurry. We only needed to do little over 8 miles to the Willow Springs road to hitch to Tehachapi so there was no rush.
After a lazy start, I head out with Blis and we're soon walking among the hundreds of windmills. The rest of the trail goes through the massive wind farm.
Few miles in my shin starts to hurt bad again and I pop the strongest painkillers I have to numb the pain. As the medicine kicks in, I can walk like normal and I'm enjoying the hiking immensely again.
As we see the road in the distance, we get cell reception and both Blis and I call home. He stays a little back and I keep hiking, talking with my mom and dad and brothers.
A little before I reach the road the painkillers start to wear off and my shin starts to hurt again. This doesn't look good for my hike. I can't keep eating painkillers to just be able to hike small days.
As I'm almost at the road I see a familiar blue frisbee, Copper Tone is here! I limb to the road and see not only Copper Tone but Legend too. Double trail magic!
I sit down and get a soda from Legend and soon Copper Tone brings me a root beer float. This is my first time having a root beer float and it's really good. It's basically ice cream in root beer and on the hot trail it tastes absolutely delicious.
Others are there as well and soon get a ride to town. Me and Blü stay behind.
After a while of sitting around and talking with Copper Tone, it's time to get to town. Blü, Birddog, and I start trying to hitch. We stand in the sun by the road and try to look our best but no cars stop.
We're about to give up as a white SUV pulls over and a nice lady offers to take us all the way to Tehachapi. We hop in, happy to be out of the hot sun.
As we're driving down to town I get a message from Pony and she tells they have been invited to stay over at an trail angel's house and me and Blü are also invited. That sounds really good!
We get dropped off at the front of the small mall in town and after thanking the lovely lady for our ride, Blü and I head out to eat. I'm starving for some town food and we go for some sushi.
After stuffing ourselves with ice cold sodas and sushi we head to the grocery store close by. Pony messages that they'll come to pick us up but it's going to take a few hours. To kill some time we get more sodas and then head to Taco Bell. We sit in the air conditioned fast food joint and drink endless drinks, talking with few fellow thru-hikers who were eating there.
Pony messages that they are coming to town and that they will pick us up at the grocery store. We move there with Blü and soon everyone arrives. After doing some grocery shopping we stuff all of us into the car and drive to the trail angels house.
Once we got to the house, we saw how amazing it was. The house was perched on the foot of a mountain, and Rachel, the trail angel whose house we were staying at, had made it a real haven. Her family consisted of four beautiful children, her husband, a dog, a cat, and four chickens.
The moment we got there she welcomed us to her house and life. She offered us not only her house, the change do laundry, take a shower, clean loaner clothes, and food. She had made us a nice, big dinner and we ate it at her backyard. The whole house was filled with peace and love, and I felt at ease from the moment we stepped in. I couldn't believe how lucky we were.
After the dinner we had to go back to town as Roller needed to get there. She was leaving us for her real world needs. She and her husband were moving to a new home and she needed to be there to organize everything. We were sad to see her go but we're happy to have hiked with her for as far as we had.
We all said our goodbyes to Roller and wished for her quick return to the trail with us. It felt bad to have a member of our trail family leave, even if we knew she would eventually get back on the trail.
We drove back to the house and after few beers went to sleep. Blü and I set our sleeping bags on the front patio as it was quite hot inside. Everyone else slept on the large living room mat and sofas.
When I was getting to sleep I noticed I had completely forgotten to document the day after we got off the trail.
I hope a few days rest would get me shin back to hiking order, everyone is zeroing here.