Thursday, May 31, 2012

Day 40: Oak Creek to Highway 58 (Tehachapi Pass)

A traveling flea circus set up shop in and around our tent, stealthily moving in as we slept. A large, brown spider crept up to greet me the moment I woke. Outside, an army of ants paraded back and forth on our front porch. A centipede shuffled along on the side of the tarp, while a large, brown scorpion like creature burrowed underneath it. An earwig camouflaged itself against the black fabric of the tent, and a small inchworm crept along the gray fabric on top. All of our newfound friends were reluctant to leave: the spider scurried back underneath the tent after I evicted him.

Today's route took us over golden brown grassy hills scattered with yellow mustard, bright orange poppies, pink flowering beavertail cactus, a prodigious number of cowpies, and windmills.  Lots of windmills. 

We had not hiked far before I heard a familiar noise.  A large Mojave green rattlesnake rattled furiously next to the trail, coiled and ready to strike.  Locals claim they are the most agressive rattlesnakes.  Mojave greens do not rattle a quick warning and then slither away.  Mojave greens hold their ground, rattling until their would-be victim either walks into striking distance or wisely walks away.  Uninterested in learning the effects of rattlesnake venom firsthand, I chose to walk away, although not before snapping this picture.  (Picture quality is marginal due to the distance from which I had to take the photo.)

Continuing down the trail, the constant whirring and drone of the windmills soon replaced the sound of the rattlesnake in my ear. 

We eventually reached the road with skin intact.  My father was waiting at the trailhead to drive us in to Tehachapi to resupply.  We'll be resting and refueling tomorrow (another "zero day") before heading back to the trail for the next section.


  1. The Law family is following your trip and want you to know our prayers are with you.
    God Bless,
    Brian Tammy and Joy

  2. Hi Sierra,
    Our violin concert is tonight. We will miss you.