25 Jul Onwards Into Oregon
California. Ya know that long state that’s almost the entire West Coast? The one with both desert and high snowy mountain peaks? The state where I’ve spent most my life? Yeah that one. I just walked it’s entire length. Man alive.
Oregon was marked by a wooden sign on a tree that said…Oregon…obviously. I walked past it and felt just the sun on my neck and the ever present soreness of my feet. I smiled, took a deep breath and thought: It’s hot, I don’t want to stop here.
I did stop though, wrote something in the PCT log book there and sat to wait for Birdman. He was taking his time trying to cram as many birds into his California bird list as possible. I’m glad he did as he was able to see the Northern Gosshawk just miles from the border, a bird which he’d been hoping to see for over 1000 miles.
Overall, the border crossing was uneventful. No deep thoughts, no celebrations, I was walking towards Canada and I thought I should probably just continue doing that. So I did.
I ran into a trail crew and the workers excitedly said “Welcome to Oregon”, some trail runners a few miles later said the same, and, ya know I felt pretty welcome. Thanks, Oregon. I think I’ll stay a couple weeks.
Birdman and I rolled down and around Mt. Ashland to the road walk of old highway 99. My good friend Jesse met us there with his truck to take us into Ashland.
The last few resupply points had limited options and I had a breakfast of 3 PayDay candy bars. Aside from mashed potato dinners, I had lived off of candy bars for 3 days straight. As delicious as that was, I couldn’t wait for real food. And, Ashland has an all you can eat Indian food buffet. We couldn’t wait to get there and Jesse obliged.
It was a glorious beard smothering chicken ticka masala saucy and nan scooping festival of gluttony. Oh, it was delicious.
After that, after my body was fed, I was able to start the process of remembering how to rest. We went to Jesse’s home and just unwinded while telling stories and recounting the details of our trip.
The grandness of it hasn’t sunk in but a realization that something pretty unique has been accomplished is starting to. As Claire, Jesse’s wife, said “I can’t believe you are here right now. I mean, you walked here. You walked here to my house. From Mexico!”
When you put it that way, it seems pretty wild and pretty cool. Well, I’ll hole up here for another day and ship a few food packages ahead to myself before hitting the trail. A little rest and a little reflection.
But, a man can’t let the comforts of town soften him. There’s still a lot of trail to be hiked before this song ends.
Onward into Oregon. Onward to Washington.