PCT hikers arriving, angels ready to help
March 14, 2020
As you may have noticed in previous years, Tehachapi will soon become the hub for international and domestic hikers. The world is walking into our amazing community from the Pacific Crest Trail, a hiking trail starting in Mexico and ending at the Canadian border. The trail is about 2,663 miles long, extends through California, Oregon and Washington, and usually takes hikers over six months to complete.
The current hikers have been hiking for weeks, sometimes months, when they arrive in town with their unmistakable smiles and tans. By this time in their journey, they are doing very well and are strong.
You'll find these hikers coming through our town in droves in April, May and June. Fewer come before and after these three months. They like everything about our little town, and bring tourist dollars, smiles and opportunities to learn about their experiences and backgrounds.
Most hikers will exit the PCT at the Tehachapi/Willow Spring Road near its intersection with Cameron Canyon Road or on Hwy 58 at the Cameron Canyon Road overpass. At that point, they look for rides into Tehachapi to resupply and take a day off before continuing their journey. Our little town has elicited the help of Trail Angels to help the "PCTers." Not an organization, Tehachapi PCT Angels is a list of people who volunteer to help with transportation or other needs of the travelers. "Other needs" could be something like driving to our Post Office to pick up supplies mailed to them, pointing out the laundromat, suggesting restaurants or even hosting them overnight. They may stay in one of our many hotels or at the City of Tehachapi Municipal Airport Aviator Park in town which provides a place to sleep for up to three days at $5 per person per day. A big "thanks" to Coldwell Banker Best Realty for providing a much-needed new water-resistant pouch for hiker information at the Airport!
If you see backpackers, offer them a lift as they walk to or from lodging, camp spots, the Post Office, the market or Wits' End at 115 S. Mojave Street in Tehachapi. Wits' End is a maildrop where hikers can pick up packages in town. Contact Wits' End at (661) 750-4852.
Angels need to keep in mind that their vehicle needs to be large enough not only to accommodate the number of hikers in their group, but also their individual backpacks. Angel's first name and contact telephone number is placed on a list posted at the trailheads and around businesses in town. If you get a call and are not home or can't help, the hiker usually calls someone else on the list. There is no obligation on your part to have any regular schedule. No skills are necessary for the job, just a heart that is open to these amazing people. You may find a person from Australia, France, Brazil or China sitting beside you.
If you are available and interested in helping spread Tehachapi's good will, please contact either Carol at (661) 549-0042 or Linda at (661) 972-2442.