I wake several times because I think I hear creatures. Or is it Fun Jumper moving around? I’m not sure. I’ll just pretend there are no noises and go back to sleep.
Morning comes and 6am is too early so I snooze for half an hour. I can’t tell if the things in my tent are damp or just cold. Only 14 miles to Callahans / the interstate. I hiked out at 7:30 leaving Fun Jumper to finish packing. It was really cold this morning, I had to put my gloves on when I wasn’t able to feel my hands anymore. About 4 miles into the day I came across a cool box with soda in. Yes! It’s a shame that it appeared that a load of hikers left their trash there though.
I ambled along the trail, sipping my cool soda, texting some friends as I had cell service – finally, and enjoying the gentle gradient of Oregon.
I got to the interstate at around 12. Intimidated at first about how I was going to cross the massive road, I saw that I could just walk on the old road which goes underneath it. A man pulls up and asks if I need a ride to Ashland. No thank you, I’m heading to Callahans. I thought I could chill out at Callahans, they offer various hiker packages – camping outside and eating bottomless spaghetti – and head to Ashland tomorrow. But when I got there it all seemed really posh and I felt really out of place! I saw one other hiker there, Nominal Toast, and he wasn’t sure what to do either. I was hoping more of my kind would be there. After sitting on the loo for a while – the best place to think – I decided to hitch to Ashland. Not keen on hitching on my own from the interstate but I told myself to stop being such a pansy and get on with it. The guy at reception said he got off work in 2 hours and if I hadn’t been able to hitch by then he would give me a ride. Cool.
So I go and stand by the road. 20 minutes in and no one had stopped. I wanted to cry. I’ll give it an hour. Then I’m going back to wait for the man at reception. (How I wish I had accepted that ride from that man). 10 minutes later a car pulls up and I got a ride. Super nice of Jerry and Cindy, and they took me right up to the hostel where I wanted to go – but not before trying to drop me at a gas station way out of town. I got a bit scared at that point. But, I made it to Ashland. I hitched on my own. And I’m alive!
I approach the hostel and see ‘no vacancy’. No no no. Now what do I do? I knock on the door. No answer. I call the phone. No answer. I call the phone again. No answer. I’m out of options here so I start walking into town. I stand on the side of the road looking up hotels. They are all so expensive. A lady try’s to help me by recommending some places. I don’t know what to do. I want to cry again. I look on Facebook. Wild Pony is in Ashland. I message him to ask him where he’s staying. I sit on a bench and look dejected. 2 minutes later a car drives by and someone shouts Puff Puff out the window. It’s Wild Pony!
‘I just messaged you, where are you staying?’
‘At the hostel’
‘I tried there but they have no room!’
The lady driving the car says ‘we are the owners, we have a bed for you’.
WOOHOO! A bed and a friend! They bundled me into the car and we went back to the hostel. The hostel is beautiful, so clean and homely. One Of Us is there and Dana arrived in the afternoon. More friends! Oh I’m so happy! Check in wasn’t until 4 but they let us hang out in the basement for a while – all of us hiking on our own so pleased to have people to talk to. We discuss our resupply for Oregon. None of us can decide what to do so we decide put off making a decision until tomorrow.
Dana and I head out for Mexican food. Really good Mexican food for a change. Afterward we go to the hippie supermarket and buy second dinner / pudding to take back to the hostel. I got a pint of ice cream and a huge bag of popcorn. I ate it all.
I’m full, I’m safe, I’m warm, I’m in a proper bed, I’m happy. I don’t want to cry anymore.