Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Day 101-Not So Scenic to Ashland

From mile 1719.5 to Ashland at mile 1726

Just after waking up I stayed still in my bag trying to hear what is snooping around the campsite. A deer walks into sight and stops when she sees us, body so tense she quivers.  With a few loud and angry barks she thunders off snapping twigs as she runs away.

I pack up and eat breakfast in the shade. My foodbag is light enough for going into town, but I had expected it to be empty with a 30 mile hunger debt to pay off.

The trail isn't that scenic on the seven miles to the road leading to town. We follow the ridge with the road just below us, but if I look straight out instead of down at the pavement the trail offers a wide view of towns in valleys, mountain range after mountain range, and of course Shasta-my other hiking partner.

A few miles into the morning Portrait comes up with our missing state-Iowa. We had danced around it all afternoon the day before. Without that nagging question I have nothing to think about but the hike in.

There is more uphill than I expected from looking at the profile maps. Nothing major, but it felt like I was going three steps forward one small step back. And it was making me hungry. I hadn't taken out any snacks. I could usually do six miles without snacking going into town-it makes breakfast in town all the more fun.

We stopped once, 2.6 miles from the road, at water. I filled my bottle, drank my fill, and dumped the rest out. My shoulders enjoyed the brief break, but my stomach was a little miffed that it only received water.

Keep out signs protecting a mound of dirt
The roads became louder as we got closer to the highway that would take us into town. At first I only saw the interstate and mistook it for the highway and thought there was no way we'd ever be able to hitch on such a busy road. I felt better about my breakfast chances when I saw the highway next to it looking like most of the roads we hitch on.

At the road there was a PCT trail sign and a large patch of shade to stand in with thumbs out waiting for that first car to go by.

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