For the last couple days I’ve been in the town of Tehachapi at mile post 566, preparing myself mentally and physically for the transition ahead. Tomorrow I begin the 150 mile climb out of the southern California desert towards the promised land of the High Sierra Mountains. I will be leaving the relative comfort and easy access to friends and towns that I’ve enjoyed for the first month on the trail. It will take me about 7-8 days to arrive Kennedy Meadows at mile post 700, a milestone that every thru-hiker has been looking forward to for a long time. This next week will be especially tough due to the 100+ degree temps, steep climbs, high winds and the scarcity of reliable water. Though I have some lingering concerns about the durability of my feet, I hope to finish this section strong, gaining significant elevation and enjoying a very different landscape for a change.