Day 114: The Nice People of Oregon

August 6, 2017: Hiked Miles 1691.1 to 1715.2 + .8 to the highway (24.9 total)

Our first morning in Oregon. It feels so good. We woke up to a blue sky filled with patchy white clouds, there was a refreshing breeze blowing, and the sun was starting to peak over the mountains. We ate breakfast and then started hiking. The combination of the cool, overcast morning and the rich green forests definitely made it feel like we were in Oregon. 

Everyone always talks about how flat Oregon is, but all we’ve done so far is climb up and down hills. California must have snuck over the border somehow and planted it’s hills here. We should probably build a wall.

After climbing through the forest for awhile we emerged on a ridge and had some neat views of the valley. And then the landscape couldn’t make up it’s mind so we jumped from dark forest to flower-filled meadow to open ridgetop all morning long. 

We stopped to take a break at a spring and eat a cliff bar and after sitting for a few minutes it was so hard to get up. I think all this climbing is starting to get to our legs. It will be so nice to give them a day off tomorrow.

At some point during the day we passed mile 1700. I can’t believe we are already this far. 

As we kept hiking and climbing, we eventually got a view of a weather station and Mt. Ashland in the distance. Looks like we’re getting closer to civilization.

We popped up on top of a hill and found unexpected trail magic! So exciting! There were two ice chests full of sodas! 

I’m not a soda fan but they had my favorite kind, grapefruit so I grabbed one and Colton took a coke and we hiked another couple miles until we found a good spring to fill up at and take a lunch break. I asked Colton why he didn’t take a cherry coke, his favorite kind of soda and he said it was because it was diet. It wasn’t diet, it was caffeine-free I told him, and he said he didn’t want caffeine-free because it doesn’t have carbonation and tastes bad compared to caffeinated ones. To which I explained to him all soda is carbonated and the caffeine has zero effect on the taste. This guy… I’m not too sure about his head sometimes.

I was pretty much out of lunch food so I cooked up one of our small Mountain House breakfasts and made breakfast burritos out of it. It was delicious and it was the first time I felt full after lunch without having to stuff my face with snacks. Thank you eggs. Colton made a cheese and tuna wrap with Thai chili tuna and proceeded to burn the crap out of his mouth from the spicy tuna. Then he chugged his soda too fast and burned his throat burping the soda up. And then I accidentally swallowed a huge bug that was stuck in my water bottle and spent the next few minutes trying to cough it out and then my mouth tasted like puke for awhile. It was a rough lunch break. Finally we gave up trying to eat or drink anything and just took a nap. Well Colton napped. I blogged. If I took a lunch nap I would wake up groggy and tired and probably wouldn’t make it to Ashland today.

Luckily after lunch the climbing eased up a bit and we had a mostly downhill walk after that. 

We ran into a bunch of day hikers today and got to talk to a lot of people about what we are doing on the PCT. They all thought we must be going the wrong direction toward Canada since this part of the trail heads almost due east instead of north. Silly PCT. 

The second part of the day seemed so much harder and longer than any day we have had in a long time. Our feet hurt, our legs felt like lead, and my hunger seemed to never go away. 

As we started to drop into the valley we started hearing thunder in the distance. 

Luckily it seemed a ways away but we did feel a few sprinkles right before we got to the freeway.

We passed some train tracks. 

And then hit the onramp to I-5. 

We only had to wait a few minutes before a nice guy picked us up on his way into Ashland. He dropped us off in Ashland, but we had to get to Medford where we were going to be staying with Kim, one of Colton’s family friends. We stood at the onramp trying to hitchhike and quickly realized that Ashland is not the best city to hitch from. With all the bums that pass through the area, everyone just assumed we were bums too. One truck of teenagers even revved up their engines and drove up really close to us and flipped us off. Gotta love teenagers.

Eventually a nice man picked us up on his way home. He was Mexican and only spoke broken English, but we had a fun time trying to communicate on our drive to Medford. 

We finally made it to Kim’s house, but since she wouldn’t be home for a couple hours we hung out in the backyard to wait. We were more than a little hungry by this point but there wasn’t anywhere to eat nearby so we ordered Dominos pizza. Not my first choice, but food is food when you’re starving. We swam in the pool while we waited and watched the sun start to go down. 

The food finally arrived. 

Really, food has never looked so good. 

It was all gone in about ten minutes. When you’re hiking the PCT, food is all about quantity, not quality. We finished off dinner with a candy bar Colton had been holding out on me and relaxed until Kim and her daughter got home. It was nice to finally feel satisfied although I probably could have ate a few more pieces if we had them. 

Once Kim got home we showered and hung out with her and her daughter Madi for a bit and watched Shark Tank and worked on updating my blog until I could barely keep my eyes open. 11:00. Way too late. Goodnight. 

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