Day 120 7-23-07 Motel 4240′
West Ridge of twin topped – Ashland
26.1 miles; 1726.6 (59.96) total miles; 3589.4 trip miles
90’s, sunny with some clouds
Deer count is 99
Marmot count is 51
Elk count is 23
Bear count is 6
Rattlesnake count is 6
Pika count is 2
I believe I had a bear come by my tent last night. Some time after I fell asleep, I was woken by a unknown noise. I kind a half woke up at first; then when I heard it a second time, I fully woke up. It did it once more then moved off and gave one last huff. After that I didn’t hear anything. I just went back to bed and slept like a baby.
I woke to condensation again, but it wasn’t as bad this time. The mosquitoes were back after they hounded me all night. I got going about 6:20. I made the climb to Observation Gap, where I made a few phone calls. I had a nice view of Mt. Shasta floating on a sea of clouds. I went on to Sheep Camp and skipped getting water, which was fine since I found a seasonal creek not far up the way. There were a bunch of seasonal creeks today. I was hiking right along roads for a good portion of the day. I crossed an early one after Sheep Camp and had my first of two climbs. It was steep, but turned out to be short. After descended again, I came to the junction of 5 dirt roads. The PCT went right through the middle.
Today was either in the complete open or in the pines. I got a nice sunburn yesterday so I was sure to put sunscreen on today. I had another longer climb to an open crest saddle, then I slowly made my way to Grouse Gap. I met two sets of day hikers and then a gentleman by himself. The second set of day hikers were filled with questions. I talked to them for a bit then moved on. I caught Patrick and Meggy, the couple I met back in Etna and Seiad Valley. Soon after passing them, I got to a paved road, Road 2080, where I stopped for lunch.
Once again I hadn’t read about the next day and found out the PO was open till 5 pm. I finished lunch super fast, then took off to hike the remaining 8 miles as fast as I could. I quickly caught Patrick and Meggy at the Ashland Inn just up the way. After that the book showed it as all downhill, but there were plenty of short steep ups. It was also hot as hell at this point and I was soaked with sweat. I got to Highway 99 at 3:30. I then had to hike one mile to the on ramp of I-5. I tried getting a ride from the people at Callahan’s (inn/restaurant) who give rides to Ashland, but they weren’t going for a hour. I went back to the on ramp and waited about 15-20 miles for a ride.
Finally a guy picked me up and he brought me right to the PO. He even stopped to ask for directions. I got to the PO with 45 minutes to do my mailing. Once done I asked a customer where the best pizza in town was and he told me Creekside Pizza. He told me where it was and I was off. I got my pizza and a beer. I left while the pizza was cooking to get my email and when I got back a guy named Mark had sat down next to me. He asked how my hike was going and then offered me a ride in the morning to the trail. He was going running up there anyway so he said he’d take me. He gave me his number to call him in the AM. Talk about shit luck.
I walked up the street to the Columbia Hotel, which was built in 1910. It’s a cool place. The bathroom is down the hall from my room and all I have is a sink in the room. Owen, the owner, has done a few sections of the PCT and give us hikers 10 bucks off the normal rate. I went down the street and did my laundry and then came back for a shower and wrote this. It’s well past my bedtime so I’m out of here.
Scatman 2011- Another great day of hiking. I had a great conversation with my mom in the am when I stopped to make calls. I had to tell someone I was in OR. At lunch when I realized I could get to the PO before it closed I went into superman mode. I was determine to get to town. Lucky for me it all worked out. It’s not easy to hike 26.1 miles, go to the PO, have pizza and beer, do laundry and shower all in a day while hiking. It’s doable but not with all the time I had to spare and relax as I did.
Get out there!