The First Half of Oregon (Mile 1692-1984)
A new state means new adventures. Oregon has lived up to its reputation of lush forests, wacky cities, and superb lakes. Folks in California were friendly, but when we get into town in Oregon people come up to us like we’re celebrities. They hear about how much we’ve walked at this point, and then will shake our hand, give us food and beer. It’s always a stark change to emerge from a week of eating Top Ramen in the forest to people being impressed by your ‘dirtbag’ lifestyle.
After crossing the California-Oregon border your almost immediately spit out into the city of Adhland. This is by far the biggest city I’ve been to since leaving for the trip in San Diego, and golly, it does not disappoint. Something I dearly miss is live music. There are the few who are willing to carry instruments on their back for the whole PCT, but they are very rare. After hitching into town and grabbing breakfast, my tramily went to the park for a nap. The park was fulled with people and we were soon napping under the trees, listening to a saxaphone and guitar player serenade the park.
While at the park a woman came up to us and started telling us about Ashland. She mentioned a Celtic Music gathering at a local bar, so of course we had to go see what this was about. Within a few short hours, we were listening to live Celtic music, being invited to dance, and catching up with old friends we had met on trail. It’s beautiful how community tends to flourish around live music.
Okay, before I start this mini-complaining session let me say, southern Oregon is beautiful. Essentially I’m walking through a sea of trees everyday. Whenever there I’d a slight break in the trees I can look out for miles and all I see are hills of rolling green. It’s stunning.
However, wherever there is dense forest the mosquitos have been incessant. I fall asleep and wake up to the sound of buzzing mosquitos trying to get into my tent. As soon as I leave my tent, they are there. I’ll spray myself withh bug spray and wear a head net, but somehow they always find a way. My least favorite is when a mosquito will enter my head net. I then yank my head net off, yelling “It’s been infiltrated”, and start swatting all the mosquitos that have landed on my face. To be honest, out of all of the challenging moments on the PCT, mosquitos deflate my spirit the most.
Thankfully, the southern bit of Oregon should have been the worst of it.
A goal I had for the PCT was to walk 30 miles in one day. Oregon is relatively flat compared to the rest of the trail, so nows as good of a time as any. Hiking 30 miles was surprisingly easy compared to what I had expected. Perhaps what made it easier is that I was running from mosquitos half of the time, or that I’ve been walking lengthy miles every day for 2+ months. Regardless, the end of my 30 was one of the most beautiful experiences I had on trail. The golden rays of sunset were weaving through the trees and every so often, the forest would thin so I could look over the miles of forest ahead.
Another big milestone was crossing the halfway point in miles on the PCT. Because of my flip, my halfway point is not at the traditional PCT halfwaypoint, instead it was at Shelter Cove Resort on the fourth of July. Quite a lovely way to celebrate being halfway done with the PCT. I still have many mixed emotions about being more than halfway done with the PCT. I’m excited to continue and quite sad that this trip is halfway over. At the same time, I can’t belive I’ve only done half of the trail at this point. There have been so many highs, lows, and adventures during this time. It’s hard to think of those experiences doubling by the time I finish.
Some Natrual Highlights
There are some incredible highlights I just have to mention about this section of Oregon :
- Crater Lake was mind blowing. I honestly didn’t know what Crater Lake was, I just knew I was walking to it. What an incredible surprise to stumble upon a massive drop off and see one of the most beautiful lakes of my life.
- Three Sisters Wilderness was incredible. Filled with Obsidian waterfalls, dense forests, and gentle plains, Three Sisters has it all.
- Plentiful lakes to jump in make every day a great day. The lakes in NorCal were superb, but the lakes here seem to be made for swimming. There not as frigid as the NorCal lakes so our lake dips have become less of a polar plunge and more of a day at the beach. (Speaking of, I’ve decided to add a inflatable one pound inner tube to my pack for these lakes…wish me luck on making the most of this one pound luxury item.)
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.