So, the fearsome foursome hit the trail this morning with big plans for many 20 miles days. As of yesterday, there was a 20% chance of thunderstorms (which Cactus laughed at), but as of this morning, it had jumped to 60%.
As we started hiking, the clouds looked ominous in the distance, and we could see the sheets of rain coming down from big grey clouds over the mountains. Around 11 a.m. we hit the highway and as we were making our way to the overpass, a car stops and offers all of us a ride to Tehachapi. Steve and I thought this was a sign, and probably would have taken the ride, but Cactus and BlackFoot were determined to go on.
The sky was looking okay, so we decided to go on. We knew the trail followed the highway for a while, so we could bail down the road if we needed to. Just when we got to the turning point where the trail branched from the highway, it started raining. We looked up, and the whole sky was grey - the clouds have moved in quick. We put on our rain gear and kept on.
About a 1/2 mile up the trail, Steve said to me, "this is stupid." It was already raining, windy and cold, and we were at 4,700 feet and about to climb up to 6,100, where it would be much colder for sure. I said we should follow his instinct, since it's usually right (for the most part), and he ran ahead to let our friends know we were going to turn back.
Cactus was ready to keep going, but BlackFoot wasn't convinced, so they decided to come back with us. We hiked back to the highway (during which time we heard thunder, even more solidifying our decision), hopped the fence (picture for reference - hard to see the actual rain or how wet we were) and threw out our thumbs for a ride. It was apparent pretty quickly that this wasn't getting us far, so Steve called the Days Inn in Mojave where we had just come from, because they offer hikers a ride to and from the trail. They had one room left, and said they were on their way.
We waited for about a half hour, during which time our hands nearly froze off. Pretty soon a white van pulls off onto the shoulder, but we could tell it wasn't one of the men from the hotel. We ran over to talk to them nonetheless, and it was none other than Terrie Anderson from Casa de Luna. She had driven over to drop off a hiker at the Days Inn and when she heard that four hikers needed a ride, she insisted on picking us up. She really is a trail angel in all sense of the word.
We arrived safe and sound back at the Days Inn and were all happy to take off our wet clothes and be greeted by a warm room and warm shower. Now we just have to figure out what we're going to do about tomorrow (maybe more rain!!). I guess we're pansies.