Last Stop in Oregon: Ashland

Only a few days from Mazama Village Store in Crater Lake to Ashland! I also walk through real smoke for the first time.

Day 52
Miles: 26.5

We woke up at the campground and hung around the NOBOs some more at the village store. I ate another ice cream sandwich for breakfast! The lemon lavender flavor is SO good. The three of us filled our water for our 20 mile carry and we were on our way. I’m pretty content with carrying 10L for 10 miles.

It looked like there was a trail that leads from where we are to the street we needed to get to without having to go all of the way around. BUT it didn’t exist. So we just scaled some rocks to get to the street.

Along the way there was a trail log and two older men were filling it out. I cheerfully asked if it was a trail register, because I haven’t seen many and I was excited to put my name down. They spoke down to me and phrased their words as if I was incapable of hiking the PCT. “Well, this log is for PCT hikers”. I was very surprised but I answered that I was hiking SOBO. They didn’t seem convinced and walked away when they were done. I don’t understand why it was necessary for them to speak to me this way. What makes me incapable, and them capable? It’s very frustrating.

Today was freaking hot. I took 4 breaks in the first 10 miles. My Guthook also stopped working so that’s cool.

At mile 18 I went to a spring a mile off trail. While I was hiking towards it I started panicking. How long is a mile? Is this a cruel trick and there’s no water? What am I supposed to do, I didn’t budget going on another trail for water!? But I did eventually get to the spring. It was so wonderful that I decided to eat there. Unfortunately, I had run out of fuel, again. Time to cold soak ramen!

As I was eating, John and Melinda walked up. I had met them the day before searching for a camp site as well as this morning. We talked for too long but it was so enjoyable I didn’t want to leave. But I knew that because my Guthook isn’t working I needed to catch up to Mousetrap and Roadrunner. I could just carry a ton of water assuming the worst, but it is a nice convenience to have the app working.

I was rushing to get to them and I think I stopped short of where they camped. But I was hiking in the dark without a headlamp and digging it out of my pack will just take longer. So I found a flat spot and set up camp. I’m a little nervous about water and not knowing where it is. I’m hoping my Garmin map will be able to help me before I catch up with my friends.

Day 53
Miles: 26.5

I didn’t sleep very well last night. I’m not sure if I was nervous about animals or I was just nervous about my water situation. Luckily, about 5 min after I started hiking I ran into a stream. I remembered there were two and then it was another carry. But I didn’t know how long so I filled up my 20L thinking it would be 20 miles at most.

When I came to the second stream there was a NOBO filling up and I asked him if I could take photos of where the water was on his Guthook app. He obliged and I showed him how messed up mine was. There was water in 15 miles and then I could go into Fish Lake for water at 26 miles. Today wouldn’t be too bad.

After my morning uphill, I realized I had service. Perfect! I was able to uninstall Guthook and then reinstall it! It was slow as I only had one bar. But it worked! I also took a short detour to walk to the top of on overlook. I thought the service might be better (it was non-existent) but the view was worth it.

I spent the rest of the way to Christi’s Spring listening and dancing to my music. The forest was beautiful today. There was so much less smoke and even the burned sections seemed to be gleaming with wildflowers. I could see the blue sky and it made me happy.

I met Roadrunner and Reese’s at the Spring and I stated my plan of going into Fish Lake for water. They both decided that was probably best and we could figure it out from there. I also learned that the couple I had dinner with the previous night were Reese’s parents! They all came out together but Reese’s wanted to hike alone and see that he could do it.

Roadrunner went ahead, but I still had to eat lunch and it was about 2:30pm. Reese’s filled his water and we hiked out together. We had a really nice time hiking the last ten miles with a few breaks thrown in. At one point my shoe came untied and I put my hand on a log to sit down to retie it and I quickly snagged it away. I had put my hand on some thorny plant and now there were a bunch in the palm of my hand. I was glad to be hiking with Reese’s as he pulled the thorns out because my little nubs wouldn’t have been able to.

We got to the road and there was a cooler sitting by a tree. Water! Now we didn’t need to go into Fish Lake. It was about 8:30 pm and we wouldn’t have been able to enjoy what Fish Lake had to offer. We decided to camp here for the night. 10 miles to water tomorrow. We could do that.

Day 54
Miles: 23

Reese’s and I woke up to so much smoke. We packed our stuff up and headed out. After going only 1.5 miles we had to stop and take a break. I was getting a headache and Reese’s was having trouble breathing. Not soon after stopping, Reese’s parents texted him that they were planning on getting off at Fish Lake because of the smoke. So he turned around and went back.

I started up again, if today was going to be smokey I would need lots of breaks. But pretty soon the sun came out and blue skies came with it. You would not have believed that a few minutes ago I couldn’t see 14 ft in front of me.

The ten miles to the cabin with water went by quickly as I was learning about deadly nightshade from This Podcast Will Kill You. And then I spent an hour and a half eating lunch and putting my feet up.

Down the trail Mousetrap caught up with me and we made hot chocolate. When we got to the campground, we were able to take showers but they weren’t warm. That was a mistake. Spud and Bunkhouse mentioned that they’re going to go into Hyatt Lake Resort for breakfast and we said we’d join them! Soon it was time for bed, it was so windy that I ate dinner in my tent.

My feet hurt, but I’m happy.

Day 55
Miles: 23

I woke up and pooped in a pit toilet. THERE WAS A LOT OF SPLASH BACK. I hand sanitized my butt and then took a wet wipe and got everywhere else. Hopefully that never happens to me again. YUCK!

This morning I hiked 9 miles into Hyatt Lake Resort for breakfast. I got a pancake with blueberries, eggs and sausage!

The rest of the day was so beautiful. It was nice and cool. The trees were gorgeous. There was a lot of pipe gates, some not even connected to anything. I’d not seen that before but I do appreciate that all of these people letting us walk through their private property. It is odd seeing houses and roads since leaving Washington.

Tonight I camped with Spud and Bunkhouse. It was very nice getting to know them better and eating dinner with them all wrapped up in our sleeping bags.

Day 56
Miles: 11

I didn’t get up as early as I wanted to but hiked 11 miles into Callihans. I met Mousetrap inside and he got a room for the three of us. Roadrunner had already gotten in to spend time with her family. We did laundry and showered.

The new backpack I ordered was at the post office and the wonderful Trail Angel, Ed, picked me up and took me to the post office and back to Callahan’s. It fits so much better! I’m excited to use it!

When Roadrunner arrived at Callahan’s we went to get dinner. Our first beer was free for being PCT hikers and then we ordered three dinners to share, shrimp scampi, lamb chop, and pasta with meat sauce. We also ordered cheesecake and a s’mores dessert.

So full, we picked out a few DVDs to play while we sat in the hot tub in the room. The DVDs kept skipping and it reminded me of my childhood. It was a super nice, relaxing night and sleeping in a bed felt so good.


A note on navigating the fires:

Northern California is closed. So, we rented a car and decided to explore the redwoods before heading into the Sierras. I’ll be posting about this side adventure next!

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