Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Goodbye to Ashland....

Amanda checks out the flowers by the trail.
August 11: Amanda and I woke up for our last morning in Ashland. She had to go back to work. I needed to go back to hiking 'full time.' I'd never make it to Canada in time if I kept doing 16 mile days!

Before we left town, I did a little minor resupplying at a nearby Rite-Aid. I also needed some more fuel for my stove, so we followed the directions in my guidebook to a so-called hardware store. When we first entered the store, we thought maybe we had the wrong place--it was filled with art supplies! Deeper in the store we found more traditional wares of a hardware store. We found the denatured alcohol and started making our way out of town, stopping at Wendy's along the way to fuel myself. No reason not to fill up with the junk food I normally eat. =)

And once again, I found myself at the side of Keno Access Road, ready to continue my hike. The four soda cans we left the afternoon were crushed and waiting for pickup, along with a beer can that seemingly materialized out of thin air.

For the first 0.8 miles, Amanda would join me to add to her own Hike-a-Thon miles. My guidebook showed a dirt road crossing the trail at 0.8 miles, a clear landmark that Amanda could use for marking her miles. Before we started walking, Amanda put out an ice chest and garbage bag for any hikers that happened along.

The trail was mostly flat, which Amanda appreciated, and in the trees which didn't bother Amanda one way or another. When we reached the road we hugged and parted ways.
You don't see signs like this very often, but they're
a heck of a lot of fun to find. I can't help but smile
at the thought that the Canadian miles is so much
smaller than the Mexican miles! I'm practically done already! =)

I didn't start hiking until noon and my plan for the day was to do at least 15 miles--fairly respectable for such a late start, I thought. I was quite pleased with myself when I ended the day after 20.6 miles of hiking, setting up camp in the dwindling daylight near Highway 140. I was a little sad that Amanda couldn't stay for an extra day--I was actually at a major, paved road. It would have been easy for her to pick me up again. Most of the trail it's hard to coordinate days of slackpacking because there are so few roads around, and now here's a road we can't even make any use of.

The whole day of walking was pretty dull. I passed no thru-hikers along the way, and only two day hikers along the way. The trail stayed in the trees almost the entire distance except for a few fleeting views of Mount McLoughlin

Several days later, when I talked to Amanda again, I'd learn that she bumped into Charmin and Hasty walking back to the car. Apparently, they were mere minutes behind me on the trail and I never even knew it, but it was the first confirmation I had heard that Hasty had finally caught up with Charmin again--apparently doing a whopping 50-mile day into Ashland. Seems kind of ironic that Amanda's last Charmin sighting was actually later than my last Charmin sighting.

Mount McLoughlin dominates
the occasional view late in the day.

You can tell I arrived at Highway 140 late in
the day--look at the length of my shadow! =)

I camped by this pretty little creek. =)


Goofy girl said...

Hasty's blog isn't as detailed as yours. I like reading yours. Yes Late in the day. Nice Creek! Great scenery!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I'm amused at how you were still thinking and pondering about Charmin and Hasty throughout the remaining parts of your PCT hike, even though you hadn't had any real contact with her. hmmm.....Verrrry interesting!

That long shadow photo is neat. You really do resemble your letterboxing stamp there.

Hike On!
~Twinville Trekkers