Begins: May 20, 2008
Date: Tue, Sep 30th, 2008
Daily Distance: 17
Trip Distance: 1,626.8
Hours Hiked: 7
Min Temp: 60
Max Temp: 82
Entry Visits: 504
Journal Visits: 108,969
Gear list Journal Plan
Pacific Crest Trail Map
(Click image for full size)
Alright...I believe I am the first thru-hiker to actually have their mileage DECREASE in Oregon.
The morning hiking was going well.. I arrived at the road leading to I-5. My maps were in the Crater Lake box, so I took a guess on the direction knowing I had to go under the interstate. Common sense said head for the sound of traffic, so off I set. Thank goodness I have a slightly below average amount of common sense. I will get my next set of maps in Seiad Valley.
After crossing under I-5 I stood debating whether I should try and hitch into Ashland. Everyone raved about the town, but honestly and as usual, I was just hungry and it was only 12 miles. I finally decided I would hike 7 more miles to the last road into town, and wait 10 minutes for a hitch. If no hitch then I would move on.
I began my 3,000 ft of climbing, and about an hour in I was approached by a well fed beagle and bulldog trotting up the trail ownerless. The beagle was friendly and I called the owner's name on the tag. She asked if he was down by the road and I said yes. She said she would go out and call him and he would come home. I sure hope she lived close.
I headed on up and came to a B&B that provided a picnic table and water spigot for PCT hikers. I took a 10 minute break and hiked on up the mountain. This climbing was HOT in my wool shirt.
I came out on a well used dirt road not in my databook. I assumed this was the second road. There was no traffic, so the decision was made...no Ashland. I headed up the trail, and a few minutes later came across two day hikers at the actual road. They said they were heading into Ashland, and once they learned I was distance hiking, offered me a ride into town. Amazing...I had seen nobody all day, and at the trailhead I meet two people, the only two people there that just stopped for a minute to look around.
Betsy and Fred took me into town and drove me around to give me the lay of the land. I was a bit overwhelmed at the size of the town. I had thought it much smaller. This was going to be a tough hitch out in the morning. They dropped me at a small inexpensive hotel and I headed for food after showering.
I would like to say I enjoyed the town and walked around, but I ate, and am now ready to head back out. This is the type of town you need to zero in a couple of days. It looks like it would be a lot of fun to just wander in if there was time to spare.
I still enjoy visiting the small towns, but if there were restaurants at the trailheads I would probably stay out at this point. I actually sleep so much better on my Thermarest than in a bed. I also stiffen up in town and prefer to keep hiking now. This trail also offers variety and views everyday which always makes for very enjoyable hiking most of the time.
I will figure out how to get back in the morning.
Over time, it really does become more about the journey and not the destination.