Day 106: To Ashland

Day 106
August 2
mile 1699.2-1726.6
27.4 miles

I got up and ate some breakfast as a couple of birds flitted around me, hoping for some crumbs. Wight walked by before I packed up. As I headed out of the woods and climbed 1,000 feet onto a ridge, clouds once again hung in the air below the tips of the mountains in the distance. It was an incredibly peaceful scene and a nice way to start my journey into the state of Oregon.
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I passed Wight as he took a break near Sheep Camp Spring and continued on my way. I saw no traces of Sky Eyes or Band Leader. They get up much earlier than I do!
When I began to tire, I sat along the edge of the trail and found the “Energy Bomb” bar that Tanya had sent me. It tasted much better than I imagined it would and really did seem to boost my energy! I decided to eat the Kind bar she had also given me. I heard a loud insect buzz close to me and wanted to shoo it away before I realized it was a humming bird! It was curious about me and flew near me a couple of times before landing in a tree. I hoped it was a sign of good luck!
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The trail descended and then climbed another thousand feet.
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I decided to take my next break on a rock on which I had a view of the winding trail ahead of me and flowers in the grass in between. Oregon was a pretty state so far! I had reception here and received a text from my friend, Amanda, asking me where I now was. I got to send her my Oregon border photo! She had just written a post on facebook about all of the wonderful things that had happened in her life over the past 8 or 9 months- things she had never imagined possible, and this both made me happy for her, and gave me hope for myself. For now, I was content walking the path in front of me.
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I encountered a couple of day hikers ahead. One man asked me where I was headed. “Canada!” I said. He sated at me dumbfoundedly. “Canada is that way” he said pointing in the direction I had come from.
“No it’s not. It’s that way,” I confidently stated.

Later, I encountered two women who were excited about what I was doing and wanted to ask me some questions. The first was if I was carrying all six pairs of shoes that I would go through on me! They wished me well and we headed on our separate ways.
When I arrived at a beautiful cascade of water, I had to take a break. It was too good of a source to pass up. All around it were beautiful wildflowers. A man came jogging past on the trail.
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The trail descended to the Mt. Ashland Inn, where two excited dogs greeted me. A nice man pointed out a water spicket and picnic table that he had set out for the hikers. He and his grandson were working on a wood project and were both very welcoming! I hadn’t planned on taking a break here, but decided to take advantage of the table. One of the nice dogs came over to keep me company.
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As I headed out again, I saw an older man with a huge backpack ahead of me. He didn’t seem to hear me approaching and I think I ended up startling him when I said hello. We chatted for a few minutes and I learned that he had just started his section hike of Oregon and had camped near Slack last night. He wanted to know if I knew him. I asked him if he was planning on hiking to Callahan’s and he said he thought it was too far to get to tonight. I encouraged him to try if he felt like it. There was a side path that lead down to it and he asked how he would know where it was. I told him he would see a sign. I got moving, feeling strong and energetic.
I found the side trail which emptied out onto some railroad tracks and then got totally confused. I wished I hadn’t packed my guidebook pages away! I decided to head across them and after checking out the area, only saw a wide dirt road to take. It kept going and going. I could see the highway below me, and then the Callahan’s sign, but this path was taking me further down the highway. I finally gave up, realizing this was the wrong way. Now, I was tired and had just lost a lot of time! I was hoping to make it there by 6 or so, not knowing when dinner was served.
As I neared the railroad tracks again, I saw my new friend, Phil! He had made it after all! We looked around for the path leading down to the highway, but neither of us saw anything! He finally got out his phone and I found the number for Callahan’s. The staff didn’t seem to offer any help, however. I went to look again and waved Phil over after I realized where it was. I walked ahead of him, but didn’t want to walk too fast… Then, I crossed the highway, headed under the overpass and finally reached our destination! I was tired!
We had to pay $50 for a shower, dinner, breakfast (excluding tips), and camping out in the backyard. I also had to pay $3 for each of my boxes that were shipped there. (Last year, it was free).
The lady took us out to a garage-like building with a single shower and said we could have dinner after we washed up. Phil said I could go first while he set up his tent.
I decided to cowboy camp on the lawn and after I set up my sleeping bag, went up to the deck and found a table. Phil joined me after his shower. It was nice to have company. I wasn’t able to eat much of my spaghetti because my stomach started hurting. How frustrating! It got pretty cold out so we ended up taking our meal inside to finish.
A couple seated by the door asked me about my hike when I couldn’t figure out how to open the door! They invited me to sit down with them and before I went back outside, gave me their contact info in case I ran into trouble along the way, as they knew several people in Washington that might be able to help me out if I needed it. I thought that was very kind of them!
I headed down to my spot in the grass while the patrons returned to their rooms and hunkered down for the night.


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