Saturday, August 09, 2008

Things Just Happen

Ok. So first we had a tough time getting out of Ashland (one of our
hardest hitches yet), until Seamus picked us up. An AT veteran, he's
hoping to hike the trail next year. Seamus got us back to the trail at

Then we hiked 17 miles, and just before hitting hwy 66 (the exact road
our motel in town was on!), we met Jacob and Rachel who were out for a
ride on Jacob's new motorcycle (60mpg). Yes, they are bible heroes.
No, I didn't ask them about what it's like to be a bible hero (how do
you ask a guy named Jacob dating a girl named Rachel if he has three
other wives, or if this particular girl is worth 14 years of toil with
the in-laws' family business; you can't ask because no one gets bible
jokes anyway).

One thing led to another and we all ended up 1.5 miles down hwy 66 at
a restaurant and inn for dinner. They bought us very good beer and we
chatted trail, life, and an upcoming trip to Costa Rica. It was great!
Then it got cold & dark, it was time to go home, and we parted
company. But see, we have to walk. We were gonna hitch if it was still
light out...alas, no light.

Caterpillar, wise as she is, didn't want to walk on a dark mountain
highway without much of a shoulder (we already walked here). So I
asked the folks in the now closed restaraunt for help.

Turns out for 15 bucks a head, you can sleep in the yurt. Nicest yurt
you ever saw, too. Reminds us of a youth room really, which as you can
imagine, we are quite comfortable in. Genghis Khan wishes he had such
a nice yurt.

Clearly, when Jacob, father of the twelve tribes, and Rachel, mother
of Joseph of technicolor dreamcoat fame, buy you a beer, things just
end up working out.

Adventures in Oregon

The hike out of Seiad Valley is a good one. It starts at 1,300 feet
and in 7 miles we were at 6,000 feet. Good times.

Wednesday morning we woke up ready to cross the border and looked at
the sky - it was cloudy on the Oregon side and sunny on the California
side. How appropriate.

We took this picture at the cooler of beers and sodas that were
awaiting us a few miles in, welcoming us to this great state. It was
the first time in several hundred miles that there was a clear view,
so we had to take advantage.

We got into Ashland by 11 am on Thursday and have very much enjoyed
this small and charming town. We were able to get tickets to two shows
at the Shakespeare Festival, and have been pretending we're not just
dirty, smelly hikers, but cultured, dirty, smelly hikers.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Steve Says "I'm a Beast"

But he's wearing Winnie the Pooh ears, so take it for what it's worth!

Holy $#!T

We made it to Oregon!!

Sorry for the language, but this deserves it. And admit it, about half
of you reading this blog never thought you would actually see this
picture, and not just because of the crown and lei!

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Pancake Challenge Aftermath

Just kidding. This little landmine, alongside my new size 15 shoes for
scale, was left behind by a soon-to-be burger. Unfortunately, the
smoke obscured our views so much that this was the only thing I shot
with the iPhone in the last 5 days.

We did 100 miles from Shasta to Etna in 4 days and change. Whoever
said Northern California is easy is a dirty liar - there were some
steep climbs. Jane's blisters returned with a 26 miler, then a 27,
then a 28. She was still a good sport!

As we continue these big mile days for the rest of the trip, I suspect
our time for anecdotes of off trail wackiness may decline. About this
I'm a little sad, but we gotta push, right?

Here's what you need to know:

1. I saw a three-foot timber rattler which rattled at me and slithered
across the path in front of me. I was too thrilled to remember my
camera. After this, I fantasized about being attacked by a rattler and
imagined my hiking poles being the best defense. Basically, to come
home with a rattlesnake skin (because of self-defense) would satisfy
my desire to be savagely awesome. The whole hiking all day and wiping
with rocks isn't cutting it anymore, I guess.

2. We spooked some cows again at the very end of the section. I'm
always impressed by how fast they can move, especially on a steep
hillside. A real stampede would be terrifying.

3. There is more fire, so we're jumping up another 55 miles to Seiad
Valley, home of the oft discussed pancake challenge. Since we're not
walking into town, my appetite is not right for 5 lbs of dough. I will
have to let Blackfoot's 3.5 lbs stand as the record between friends
until another year.