Hikers arriving, Angels ready to help
March 18, 2023
Tehachapi is about to become a hub for international and domestic hikers.
Trekkers from all over the world start arriving in 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 and extends through California, Oregon and Washington. The trail usually takes hikers over six months to complete. This winter's snow and stream crossings will make the trail especially difficult.
When the hikers start arriving, they have been hiking for weeks, sometimes months. By this time in their journey, they are doing very well, are strong and are unmistakable by their smiles and tans.
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 and opportunities to learn about their experiences and backgrounds.
Most hikers will exit the PCT at the Tehachapi/Willow Springs Rd. near its intersection with the Cameron Canyon Rd. or on Highway 58 at the Cameron Canyon Rd. overpass. At that point, they look for rides into Tehachapi to resupply and sometimes to take a day off before continuing their journey. Our little town has enlisted the help of Trail Angels to help the "PCTers." Not an official organization, Tehachapi Original Trail Angel Group 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 often stay in one of our many hotels. The Aviator Park at the Tehachapi Municipal Airport is no longer hosting the hikers for camping.
Regarding COVID concerns, the Pacific Crest Trail Association is requesting hikers to be "fully vaccinated" to hike the trail. In turn, we are asking volunteers to be "fully vaccinated" for COVID protection.
If you see backpackers, consider offering them a lift as they walk to or from lodging, camp spots, the Post Office, grocery stores or hotels. 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.
A list of Angel's first names and contact telephone numbers are placed on a list posted at trailheads and around businesses in town. If an Angel gets a call and is not home or can't help, the hiker usually calls someone else on the list. There is no obligation 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 text, email or contact Johnathan at firstname.lastname@example.org or (661) 221-1328. Include any pertinent information such as should hikers call or text, any "don'ts" such as do not call before 8 a.m., and how many your vehicle can hold.