August 20th - 9:31 am

2097 miles on the trail
553 miles to go

Last 7 days:
32 | 28 | 26 | 26 | 31 | 19 | 0
Average 23.1 miles/day

MAP WEATHER
A Birthday Poem for Ethan

A Birthday Poem for Ethan

Ode to a Wild Man

Written by Joshua Parry, August 2019

Oh wild man, oh wild man,
Look at his bush of beard,
Look at his big flat feet,
Ignore all the smush he eat.

Oh wild man, oh wild man,
Look at his horse mane hair,
Look at his string bean body,
Ignore his strange clothes all shoddy.

Oh wild man, oh wild man,
Look at his fearsome spirit,
Look at his courageous heart,
Ignore the smell of fart.

Oh wild man, oh wild man,
Look at the miles he’s walked,
Look at the friends he’s made,
Ignore how his toes have splayed.

Oh wild man, oh wild man,
Not far now from home,
In hugs you’ll be immersed,
Just have a shower first.

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Look who we bumped into!

Look who we bumped into!

In the past 2 weeks we have walked from Ashland (Southern border of Oregon) to Timberline Lodge (Northern border of Oregon), where we have linked up with Ethan’s parents for some R&R. That’s 377 miles in 14 days, and we are now knocking on the door of Washington state. Suddenly the end seems near, only 550 miles to go…

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Mile 1744 to Mile 1773

Mile 1744 to Mile 1773

The night had been dark and full of weird noises. Some animal was having a right laugh with a tree and didn’t care who knew of it. We never found out what it was despite getting out of the tent and shining our head lamps around. When leaving in the morning we had a set plan for our breakfast location, Klum Landing campground. This was because it had picnic tables, flushing loos and showers, we used all but the latter.

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Mile 1720 to Mile 1744

Mile 1720 to Mile 1744

Hyatt Lake & Pilot Rock

After yesterday’s stressful leave of Ashland, we were keen to make day one back on trail productive. This however, is easier said than done as your mind and body are still very much in the motel. It seemed as if the days heat was on us already as we left. The 10 day resupply in our packs pushed its weight through our joints as we strolled over the gradual hills towards Pilot Rock.

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Mile 1718 to Mile 1720

Ashland
Mile 1718 to Mile 1720

This was our chore day and return hitch. We had breakfast at Morning Glory with Tom the vagabond himself, before heading downtown to buy new socks, shorts and some juice. A gent named Mike, with his dog Argo, gave us a lift in his new jeep to the supermarket where we resupplied for 10 days – Oregon doesn’t provide many large towns along the trail, and the post office was closed that day so we couldn’t send any food forward.

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Zero in Ashland

Zero in Ashland

Finally, a day off! It had been over a month since our last full zero day, so the day off in Ashland was an absolute treat. We lounged in the morning with baked goods from a bakery, did laundry and visited a Thai restaurant for lunch, lounged some more and headed out for drinks in the evening with hikers we had walked with in recent days. Beers were emptied as we sat and chatted in the cool evening breeze at a local brewery, but the trail routine comes a knocking, and by 10pm we were on the edge of sleep.

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Mile 1698 to Mile 1718

Mile 1698 to Mile 1718
Ashland

After packing up camp early and silently, we got back on the trail eager to slay the 20 miles we had to Callahan’s Lodge and a hitch to Ashland. Is was odd, surely an imaginary line shouldn’t lead to noticeable change in environment, but we sweat the hills suddenly were more gradual in Oregon and that miles came far easier than before. There was one long and fairly large climb to do before starting the predominantly descending trail down to town.

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Mile 1666 to Mile 1698

Mile 1666 to Mile 1698

There are two significant points to this day:
1. It was our first day hiking over 30 miles
2. We left California behind and crossed the state border into Oregon!!
Four months trekking through the same state is agonising on the mental side of things, so crossing that border was an absolute blessing. When we woke, we knew we’d be embarking on our biggest day yet.

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Mile 1642 to Mile 1666

Mile 1642 to Mile 1666

The trail continued its way down hill towards Seiad Valley, though the previous evening we had completed much of the steep section of descent. It was a bush-wack job, forcing our way through overgrown plants while dodging poison oak growing amongst it all. As the gradient steadied out, we passed Grider Campground and began the 7 mile road walk. Road walks suck, but this time there were ripe bushes of blackberries everywhere, their sweet fruit providing the first on trail treats of the season.

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Mile 1615 to Mile 1642

Mile 1615 to Mile 1642

The rising sun cast a stunning pink light on the horizon as it rose above the silhouetted range before us. I looked to the ridge to our left and was eager to see what was over it’s rim. However, it turned out that was not where the PCT went, instead we headed straight up the steep bowl behind us. A rough climb to start the day, also turns out this was going to be the day’s theme as we continuously dipped down and up the shoulders of valleys. To be fair though, they were beautiful.

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Mile 1600 to Mile 1615

Mile 1600 to Mile 1615

Etna Park was the towns central park area with luscious soft green grass and an area designated for camping hikers. It was bliss, and slowly waking up there after laying in felt heavenly. We had two main things to do before getting back to trail; finish off our resupply at Rays and try out the Denny’s Bar for lunch. Firstly, as it was a Sunday and everything was closed for a while, we headed for breakfast where all the hikers gathered.

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Mile 1572 to Mile 1600

Mile 1572 to Mile 1600

There was a change in the air this morning. At first it wasn’t clear what that change was, but as we came to a ridge line minutes from leaving camp we realised exactly what it was. Smoke. A wild fire was blazing somewhere ahead and the valleys around us were perfect traps for the smoke floating in the air. It made the days horizon a haze and smothered views where we’d otherwise see for miles on end.

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Mile 1546 to Mile 1572

Mile 1546 to Mile 1572

This day was set to be similar to the one before – waking along ridge line bowls through meadow and woods before descending down to a trail head and climbing back up the other side to the next set of ridges. There was a slight layer of cloud in the morning which cast patterns of shadow upon the ranges around us which emphasised their gnarled details more than ever. We chatted the morning away maintaining a steady pace which passed the miles beneath our feet. To us, the terrain was monotonous and distractions from it were welcome helping pass the time swiftly.

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Mile 1519 to Mile 1546

Mile 1519 to Mile 1546

The morning view was just as stunning as the previous evening. The subtle morning glow shone off of Mt Shasta with a pale blue light, and Mt Lassen was visible through the morning haze. We were pumped, ready for a potentially big mile day and eager to see what other views the day along the ridge would bring. The truth is that it didn’t bring much.

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