Mile 1716 to 1748.2.

Bedazzled’s and my stay in Ashland, Oregon turned out to be one of our best town stops yet. Besides being a funky college town that is known for its months long Shakespeare Festival, it was home to some of the friendliest and most helpful people we have met on trail. We were offered rides from people in shops, random people passing by in their cars, and if all else failed, they had a bus system as well so getting around was easy. We also had our best breakfast on trail at Morning Glory. It was so good we ate there twice.

After two restful days, we headed back to the trailhead early this morning. The wife of a southbound thru-hiker picked us up at 5:10 and had us at the trail by 5:30. An early start, but it suited us just fine as we had a full day of hiking ahead of us.

We are trying to get to Crater Lake National Park, which is about 100 miles away, in 3 1/2 days. The PCT is still officially closed in the park due to fires, but you can hike on the West Rim Trail, which is a popular alternative to the PCT that many hikers take each year. Just a few days ago, all the trails on the west side of the rim were closed so let’s hope the recent reopenings stay open.

Thru-hikers say Oregon is flat, and today it pretty much was. We covered the miles without much trouble. The scenery was a mix of dry yellow grass and pine trees all day. When I think of Oregon, I typically think of the wet, overgrown, and green western side of the state, but it looks like we will be walking through the dry desert portion of the state for now. Hopefully that changes.
Around midday, I saw a girl named Poltergeist coming southbound. We started on the same day in Campo, California. I had heard that she flipped to avoid the Sierra, but was surprised to see her in Oregon since most people who flipped had done so to Ashland and then started south. I guess she must have taken some time off and then started south from the Canadian border when a true southbounder would have started. It makes sense since you will only have to flip once. People who flipped to Ashland and then hiked south will have to flip back up and finish the remaining parts of Oregon and Washington.

The trail wasn’t very exciting today, and it was pretty easy except for the couple 7 – 9 mile water carries. I think I only took 5 pictures the whole day. Hopefully I can get some good shots at Crater Lake.

I also have poison oak or some similar irritation on my left leg and arm. Nothing to do but walk it off out here.

Bedazzled finally got rid of her Sawyer Mini water filter and got the Sawyer Squeeze. Instead of taking 5 minutes to filter a liter, she can filter one in 15 seconds. She is very happy.

Onwards and upwards.

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