Days 98 – 100: In And Out Of Ashland

Date: July 16 – 18, 2017
Miles: 1701.4 – 1738.6

The first thing that I looked forward to after reaching Oregon was getting to the eccentric town of Ashland.  I wanted good things to eat, upper scale grocery stores, and all the hippie vibes.  We first hit up Callahan’s lodge where, despite some dismissive customer service, we enjoyed a bunch of food and relaxed a bit before hitching to town to resupply.  The Shop n Kart had a great selection of food and a natural foods section that smelled like patchouli (that reminded me of home…). When we were done, we got a ride from a local trail angel, Jennifer, whom we met through Joe Dirt, another hiker we recently met.  Jennifer took us all to her ranch outside of town and we had such a wonderful time with her and her husband that we decided to stay an extra day.  They were truly some of the most welcoming people that we met during our hike.  We laid around, ate tasty things, played with the dogs and then, somewhat regretfully, left Jennifer’s place and headed back to the trail.

Wilderness hopscotch.

Family dinner – these guys were awesome.
Dogs have no problem making friends.
Roi made shakshouka – so good.
Gossamer Gear replaced my torn pack…what a difference!!
Scoops at Pilot Rock.

Day 97: Oh, oh, oh, Oregon!

Date: July 15, 2017
Miles: 1676.8 – 1701.4 

“It’s not a matter of if, but when.” ~ Valley Girl 

Northern California did its best to try to keep me from leaving for Oregon today. 

I’ve tripped on a million rocks but today I caught a hidden one and fell face first in the dirt. You fall harder with a backpack on, and it adds insult to injury when you land and it slides up to the back of your head, pushing your face right into the ground.  I jumped up, looked around to make sure no one saw me crash and burn, cleaned the dirt and rocks out of my wounds and kept truckin’.  The trail took a southbound turn for a bit, then it headed north in time for some awesome trail magic provided by a couple families who are updating the Donomore Cabin.  I filled my belly with sandwiches and cookies before tackling the last hill. 

Finally, I made it to Oregon! The trail suddenly got better…less climbing, a crew out clearing snow for an upcoming ultra marathon, cut-back overgrowth, fields of blooming bear grass and more trail magic. At a trailhead, we found watermelon in a cooler and met hikers Sparkle Motion and Wild Card, who shared their beer with us. At the end of the day, we camped with two of our favorite hikers, Valley Girl and A-Game. It was the kind of day that makes you wonder why you would ever leave the trail. 

One of the last views of California.

The Donomore cabin.

A-Game crossing the state line.

An intense moment for Roi.

Roi, A-Game, Rocksteady, Sleepy, Me, Fluffy and Valley Girl, in Oregon!

These guys made this section of trail SO much easier.

Fields of bear grass.

Wild Card, Sparkle Motion, Me, Fluffy and Roi.

Just a few more miles to go!