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Today I woke after an amazing sleep. I went to bed and woke up only at 4:45 when I was going to get up anyway. I left second to last from camp and hit the trail. It was cool and quiet with a light wind. The trail followed the curves of the mountains as usual. I could see Arugula / Bri ahead of me in the distance. My arches felt fine for some reason which was a nice surprise. The trail went steeply down and very steeply up. I was feeling good and took and energy gel and shot up the climb like nothing.
The rest of the day we kept going through wind farms and slowly made our way down to Willow Springs Road and hitched to Tehachapi. It was a small but cool town with everything hikers need. We booked a room (me and Rugs/Bri) at the Fairfield Inn. It was a very nice place. I showered and laid in the AC for a while.
We all went to Thai later that night and then decided last minute to zero the following day, which we did. It felt great. I got my first COVID vaccine and laid around and relaxed all day. I soaked in the hot tub and did an epsom salt soak in ours. It was a wonderful zero and we managed to keep our large group together which felt nice. I felt finally like I had community and that I’m thru-hiking.