So I was pretty worried about creatures last night and I thought I would be waking up every 5 minutes. But I fell to sleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow and woke up 3 minutes before my alarm. I was exhausted! Gene ‘the machine’ passed me as I was still lounging in my tent. I was up and out of camp by 7:15.
My last morning in California was quite, I was on the shady side of the hill so it was nice and cool until about 10am. I caught up to Gene ‘not much of a machine today’. He said shortly after he saw me there was a bear crashing through the forest. He could have been sniffing around my tent all night, I wouldn’t have known! I passed Bonus Miles and Mr Clean still in their tents at about 8:30am. They were taking it easy today.
I then caught up to Steady, I think she had been camped only a few tenths of a mile away from me. I was casually walking through the forest having a lovely peaceful time when I saw a whole bunch of people running on the trail. There was a sign for hikers, this is the out and back race, sorry for any inconvenience. It wasn’t really that inconvenient, everyone was super friendly, telling everyone as they passed that they were doing a “great job”, they even started to tell me I was doing a great job! It turns out that it was a 50 mile race.
A few miles in there was an aid station, I arrived to the cry of ‘we have a hiker’ and cheering which was nice. Then they gave me a soda, a bunch of grapes and a biscotti. One lady told me that I looked amazing – well thank you kind lady!
I carried on. 3 miles to Oregon. And I will have done 17 miles by 1pm. Pretty good. The trail was great today too – they had cleared it of trip hazards for the race!
Eventually I made it. I made it 1700+ miles across the whole of the state of California and I’m now in Oregon! The runners congratulated me as they came by, which was really nice. I treated myself to a lunch break and I waited for Steady to arrive so we could share in the joy of being in a new state. I gave her my biscotti.
So I started walking through Oregon. What was I expecting? For it to feel different? For it to be different? A new chapter has begun in this journey. California and all its incredible experiences are behind me. Oregon holds promise and wonder and flatness and I’m ready to grab it by the balls.
Man: how far have you been?
Me: today or in total?
Me: oh about 21 miles
Small girl: and how far in total?
Me: around 1700 miles
Small girl: what? Why would you want to do that.
Good question small girl. Good question.
The rest of the afternoon was fairly easy walking. I stopped at a piped spring for water, 8 miles to the next water from there. I would see how far I could get. I would probably have enough water to dry camp if I couldn’t make it. But I did make it. There was someone already camped there – Fun Jumper – and he said I could camp with him if I wanted. Phew. After 29.5 miles I didn’t feel like going any further! We chatted for the rest of the evening – it’s nice to get to know some other hikers again. And it’s nice to camp with someone else!
I’m very tired. My legs and feet ache a lot. Tomorrow. Ashland.