Last night I slept very close to a spring. Around dusk I had visits from two deer or the same deer twice. Two rabbits also came by. Thinking of how much commotion I could anticipate during the night and the resultant lack of sleep made be considered packing everything down and setting up camp somewhere else even though it would have taken a lot of time and effort. I am glad that I didn’t, as I slept like a baby, albeit still a little too shortly as I had been slow to get to bed. In other words, I don’t get enough sleep because I don’t get enough sleep. Anyways, still much better than expected!
For breakfast I had whole grain toast bread with Nutella, gratuitous amounts of Nutella, that is, while sitting next to the spring. The hiking started out gently and in fact stayed that way, which was nice. I was moving much faster this morning than yesterday, but probably too fast, as I some hours in got a quite serious pain at the front side of my right ankle. I had not had problems with that before, and it really bugged me, as I still had a lot of miles to do. I took more breaks, slowed down, put on a looser sock and loosened my shoe. That didn’t seem to work, but after some hours the pain, quite unexpectedly, disappeared completely. Super nice!
When you are the first one out on the trail of the day you get to walk through all the spider web strings put up by the spiders at night. Not really a nuisance, but the fact that I continued to cross such strings all morning pointed to how few people were here. The only person that I had seen was the hiker that had camped next to me when I started today as well as a single hiker going south bound.
Around midday I crossed the border from California to Oregon after nearly three months of hiking. That really put a smile on my face and was something that I had been looking forward to for a while. This seemed like a much bigger accomplishment than the halfway point. There is less than a thousand miles to Canada now! I looked in the register next to the border marker and only saw one entry for today, which I think was Doc’s.
A couple of miles into Oregon, the trail was closed due to the “Hendrix Fire”, and had been so for some days. This is probably where all the smoke and occasionally smoky smells had been coming from the last couple of days. Luckily, the PCTA had provided an alternative route outside of the area closed by the government/firefighters. There had been a southward breeze in the morning and some smoke. That wasn’t putting me at ease by any means, as I was moving north and the wind probably pushing the fire south. However, the breeze died down and the smoke lessened. Also, the firefighters have a lot of experience and I therefore put some credence into them being able to pin a safe perimeter to close to the public. I also were lucky to have cellular service, so I checked for any news regarding the fire.
I camped about two and a half hours of walking into the detour or about 25 miles, so my hiking speed wasn’t as low as yesterday, which was nice. I had been carrying water for the whole detour as I didn’t have any information about the water in the section, but it wasn’t too bad. The smoke had come back, but it wasn’t as thick as it had previously been. I am looking forward to getting past this fire and hopefully into Ashland tomorrow. I’m looking forward to seeing what Oregon has to offer!
This days miles: 1676-1695 (plus miles on detour)