I love being out on the trail during the weekends. Near larger towns, such as Ashland, people are out on the trails and at campgrounds. Thus, my chances of acquiring a few additional calories by talking to non-thru hikers are higher. Today has proved to be no exception. After covering about 17 miles this morning, I still had a mile or so to go until lunch. I stopped at a trail intersection with a dirt road to drink some water and check my map. Two dirt bikes and an SUV drove up and a man got off his dirt bike, approached me and asked if I could use a cold drink. [YES!] I walked up to the SUV and the driver hopped out, opened his trunk and hoisted two drinks out of a cooler.
It was my choice: Diet Coke or a bottle of Starbucks Frappucino, both ice cold. I took the coffee drink and chugged it. The man next offered me a Clif Bar and a plum. Thanking him, I took both and decided to take lunch early. Looking around for a spot to eat, I noticed there was a campground 1/4 of a mile away, so I walked down the road and right into a small family picnic. Not wanting to intrude, I set up on the opposite side of the campground. Soon enough, though, a guy from the picnic approached and after chatting for a bit, I was given two bottles of water, chicken wings wrapped in foil, and two hot dogs in a plastic bag (with mustard) for the road. The hot dogs were gone after 1/2 a mile and I’m saving the wings to re-heat over the Bushbuddy tonight.
So I’m in Oregon now. Germinator, NoCar, Team Sherpa and I all crossed the border last night. For me it was my three-month anniversary on the trail as well. We all celebrated by cooking in the dark and going right to sleep in a cow paddy-infested field. I acquired some new hot spots on my feet on the way up to the border and have been using athletic tape to cover them. Of course it feels good to be done with CA, which, at just under 1,700 miles, has been quite a long haul.
There’s a plan in place for Oregon, which I’ve dubbed (with the help of NoCar) Plan Ice Cream, or Plan Milkshake (or Plan Anything Junk Food-Sounding).
The PCT through Oregon is dotted with campground stores and/or cafés. I plan on going to all of them within a two mile radius for extra calories. For now, I’ll just use them for ice cream or a soda, but after Crater Lake, I’m going to rely on them for actual resupply to avoid hitching into towns. The risk is that I may be living on candy bars, marshmallows, and hot dogs, but I’m hoping there’s a good store or two that will carry me across Oregon without a stomachache.