Sunday, June 1, 2014

Riddles in the Dark

I'm in Tehachapi now, which means I'm currently hiking through the Mojave Desert and I'll be done with desert hiking in about a week to a week and a half. I hope to get the time to write a longer report sometime later, but from here on the next planned stop is Kennedy Meadows (KM), the great gateway into the High Sierras. I have no idea whether there is internet access until or at KM or not, so you better don't count on it. It might take quite a while until you hear from me again. I'll keep you briefed as soon as I can. In the meantime, here's what happened since I left the Saufley's in Agua Dulce.

I left Hiker Heaven after two really refreshing Nero's and a Zero. Hiking out in the afternoon, when the weather cooled down a little bit, I grabbed some Chicken Quesadillas at the local Mexican restaurant and hoofed it. The very next day I ended up hiking into another hostel, Casa de Luna (The Andersons). Just like the Saufley's place this hostel was too hard to leave, so I convinced myself to drink more beer and nero out of there in the afternoon.

Since there was an official PCT closure coming up (that sometimes happens here in SoCal in areas that have recently damaged by forest fires), we had to face a tiring long road walk. Good thing I teamed up with Landfill and Stampede. After a couple of miles on the road Cracker Jack joined us and we kept ourselves distracted by solving riddles while strolling down the highway.

This thing all things devours;
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats mountain down.

Stampede and Landfill had their backpacks dropped off by trail angels at the next trailhead, so they were fortunate enough not having to carry 253 metric shitloads on their backs. I should've done that, too. Somehow I was too busy drinking beer at Casa de Luna to get anything like that organized. But I have no regrets.

Twenty-eight white horses on a red hill.
First they stomp, then they chomp,
then they stand still.

We hiked until close to midnight and decided to call it a day. Or maybe a night. The hell am I supposed to know at that inhumane time? At least we got to see a bunch of shooting stars before we dropped dead, cuddled close together on a small bivy campsite next to the trail.

My first to begin an eternity,
my second half a circle,
my third half a square,
my fourth is myself,
my fifth and sixth to end a letter,
my last is my beginning,
and together I am nothing.

The next day we hiked to a hostel called Hikertown. The $ 5 "donation" for hanging around there turned out to be totally worth it: they had puppies. Cute, squeaking little puppies. And I got the chance to get a free ride to the nearby grocery store to get ice cream. What else does a hiker need on a blazing hot day in the Mojave Desert?

What gets bigger and bigger, the more you take away from it?

After that we had to face the longest day. Hiking along the L.A. Aqueduct for what felt like a thousand miles was exhausting. It was the flattest part of the trail and while crossing West Antelope Valley it felt like not getting anywhere. This valley just wouldn't end for five lifetimes.

This morning I made it to Tehachapi. Just as I entered town I ran into Brent and Rosie, two locals who deserve the title "Trail Angels" above all others. Running short of time (I still had to get my supplies AND ship out my maildrop to KM), Brent gave me rides across town so I could all my chores done before the P.O. would close at 2 p.m.

One thing led to another and so Brent offered me to stay at their home for the night, where I could take a shower, get my clothes washed and join one of their friend's birthday party where they fed me massive amounts of delicious Filipino food! And I thought after the puppies in Hikertown it couldn't get any better. Well, apparently I was wrong!

That's it for now. I'll keep you posted, but remember: I don't know where I can find the next internet access, so it may take quite a while until you hear from me again. In the meantime, try solving the riddles I posted up there (without using Google, please!). If you found the answers, feel free to post them as comments on this blogpost.

Happy Trails,


  1. The first seems to be something natural like wind or rain
    the second ... I've NO idea :(
    the third I keep thinking about
    while watching the fourth: my shadow

  2. the first: Time
    the second: teeth
    the third and fourth: keinen bock zu lesen

    Püppie du alte Vettel lauf mal was schneller hab noch! ein paar kühle Bier hier für den Fall das du doch zurückkommst.
    Naja hoffe du bekommst drüben zumindest mit wie wir Weltmeister werden.