July 16, 2017
Total daily miles: 10.4 miles
Total PCT miles: 1309.3
Start: mile 1705.7
End: Ashland (mile 1716.2)
Total elevation gain/loss: 751/3139.4 ft
We only had about 10.5 miles this morning until hitting the road from which we could hitch to Ashland. When we woke up, it was actually pretty cold for the first time in a long time. I wore my wool beanie for the first several miles — something that I rarely do!
The trail this morning alternated between sections that were overgrown with brush and protected by tree cover. In typical “town day” fashion, I was determined to get the miles done as quickly as possible so that I could maximize my town time. I stopped briefly after about five miles at a picnic table and faucet, where I met Colorwheel, and then it was time to continue on.
Just as I was approaching the road, I spotted my first baby deer of the hike. It still had its spots and the family stuck around for awhile to munch on the grass near the turnoff. Sadly, it wouldn’t cooperate for a photo!
From the road (old highway 99) we had a choice, try to hitch a ride straight to Ashland or stop by Callahan’s first. Callahan’s is a lodge/restaurant about a mile from where the PCT hits the road. It’s a popular place amongst hikers because they offer thru hikers a free beer! The road had very little traffic, so we decided to start walking to Callahan’s and try to hitch if any cars came by. Within a few minutes, we had a ride straight to Ashland. Judging this as a better outcome than the free beer we decided to stop by for our free beer on our way back to the trail instead.
The man who offered us a ride was from Ashland and had been out birding for the morning. He dropped us off right at our intended destination– the Super 8. Although it was only about 11am, they had a room already made up that we could use right away! Showers and laundry were the first orders of business. While Michael went across the street to do laundry, I stayed behind to work on the blog… but quickly opted to take a nap instead. I was tired, what can I say?
Michael’s Note: this is while I sat around in rain jackets because everything else was in the washer.
By the time laundry was done, I was starving. We walked over to the Shop’n Cart to buy lunch and our resupply. We grabbed soup and sandwiches and camped out on the lawn chairs being displayed at the drug store next door. Then it was back inside for resupply shopping. We had decided not to send a box here so that we could pick up some variety. The grocery store was sort of a combination of a hippie grocery store and discount warehouse store. It was overwhelming. Lots of choices, but not the typical stuff so it felt like we had to look at everything before we could decide on anything. We ended up with some interesting looking stuff and some new flavors of our usual bars, but it was an exhausting exercise. I sort of wish we’d just sent a box. The bill ended up being high (but it included town groceries and beer) and Michael still had to run to the Albertsons later in the day to grab some missing supplies. I think we also may have bought way too much food.
We spent the rest of the day relaxing in our hotel room, organizing food and gear, and taking care of internet chores (like loading Oregon maps)! We didn’t even go out for dinner, but instead munched on fresh bread, pesto, and goat cheese we got from the grocery store. Yum!
I called the gear store in town that carries Altras and it looks like they don’t currently have my size in stock, but they have half a size larger. I’ll probably stop by in the morning to see if that would work. If that doesn’t work, I might have to make due with my current shoes until Crater Lake and order a pair to have sent there.
I’d been hoping to zero in Ashland, but we have plans to get off trail for a couple days in Crater Lake to meet up with some of my former coworkers. The timing for that works out such that we’d be better off if we could get a few miles in tomorrow afternoon. Otherwise we’d need to average over 25 miles per day in order to get into Crater Lake at a good time. Oh well, another reason to do a trip up here in the future.
Elizabeth: sore feet.
Michael: sore feet.