Day 80-81, zeros in Ashland.

Great zeros. My friends had to make all of their resupplies for Oregon and Washington. I did this earlier, so it was a relaxing two days for me. Kristi brought us to Rei where I got new underwear, socks, and sunglasses. I also picked up the newest backpacker magazine. It has a feature on Anish and her hike of the pct last summer. Lint is in it, as he hiked with her for a bit last year. I thought that was funny, as we’re all staying at his house here in Ashland. We got dropped back off at the trail near callahans by Andrew, not a chances friend who did trail magic for us at Scott’s summit, and hiked less than a mile past the highway to camp in a nice field.

Day 82, July 15
Start: camp just past highway, mile 1,727
End: big springs, 1,762
Miles hiked: 35

It’s an early morning up and out. I camped with carrot, Guthrie, JrSr, and not a chance. Not a chance is gone by the time I’m up, at 5:15, and JrSr is soon on his way. I set off with carrot and Guthrie around 6, as the morning sun starts to creep through the trees and into our eyes. The hike is a steady climb through the forest and tall, golden wheat grass. We are awarded with great views of Pilot Rock, a large rock outcropping, as the sun splashes the front of its face.

I hike slowly, and soon Sochi, 10k, and Caboose catch me, having started from the road early in the morning. They had taken several zeros in Ashland as well, and are ready for some miles. I realize this morning that I packed way too much food. Probably 5-6 days worth of food, when we’re planning 105 miles in 3 days to crater lake. I had to grocery shop last minute in Ashland when my resupply never made it to Justa and Lints house. Apparently I’m still a n00b and don’t know how to pack food. I try handing out my food but everyone is in the same boat. Looks like I’m carrying 5 extra pounds for the next 100 miles. That sucks.

As the day gets warm I start losing steam. I was already hiking slowly to begin with. I pass Turkey feather, rewind, Sochi, and 10k as I try to catch carrot and Guthrie, but they’re just too fast! I end up strolling the last five miles on my own, looking at the green moss hanging on the trees, the toads hopping on the trail and into the grass, and the birds chirping above. It’s peaceful, and helps me forget about the extra weight on my back.

I get to big spring around 8. It’s a 35 mile day. I guess I wasn’t going as slowly as I thought. Oregon is cruiser miles. Maybe since there wasn’t much incline my endorphins never kicked in, and I never really felt strong or well. I camp with Sochi, 10k, not a chance, JrSr, and a section hiker heading north near big spring. Carrot and Guthrie must have stopped at klum camp, where not a chance told us there were free showers. They must not have been able to resist. Woody is also behind, as he stayed in Ashland another night for a girl who loved plants almost as much as he does.

Again, I try to give away some of my extra food. No one bites. Everyone has the same problem as me. Too much good food in Ashland and we all hiked out heavy. Stupid.

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A small praying mantis I found on my hat in the morning. When I went to touch him he jumped away. It was awesome!

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Morning light. The scenery here was unique and beautiful.

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Carrot hikes in the morning.

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The group congregates at the spring. Carrot, Sochi, 10k and Guthrie.

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Scenes from the day.

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Sunset.