PCT Mile 1702.6 to 1717.7
Miles Hiked = 15.1
The lightening, thunder and rain blew through last night and I was happy to see another morning with blue skies. I was hiking by 7:15am.
As I hiked this morning, I had bittersweet feelings. I was sad that today was my last “official” day of PCT hiking this summer. But I was looking forward to seeing Donna tomorrow as well as the kids and grandkids in a few days in Bend.
My plan today was to hike to Callahan’s Lodge which is located adjacent to Interstate-5 in Southern Oregon (10 miles south of Ashland).
I was a little surprised that the visibility wasn’t better after the rain – it was actually quite hazy.
The trail passed through large mountain meadows filled with colorful wildflowers
I passed by Mount Ashland which is a popular destination for snow skiing in the winter as well as hiking and mountain biking in the summer. The large dome on the top apparently protects a radar dish that gives meteorologists weather information about the southern Oregon Siskiyou Mountains.
I took a short break, had a snack and continued hiking – there were more unique and colorful flowers
Eventually I started to have views towards the valley where Callahan’s Lodge and Interstate-5 are located. I could hear planes, trains and automobiles.
As the trail dropped down towards the paved road that goes to the Mt. Ashland Ski Area it actually crosses the driveway of two private residences. The second residence had provided a picnic table and water faucet for hikers … I took advantage.
One of the neighbors walked by and I gave him a cheerful “Hello, how are you?”. He just grunted something at me – I guess he wasn’t happy that his neighbor is a trail angel and provides a place for all us “strange hikers” to take a break.
I still had another six miles to go so didn’t stay very long. The trail paralleled the road as I continued down towards civilization.
I reached the cutoff to Callahan’s Lodge at 2pm
Ten minutes later I walked under Interstate-5 for the second time in the last month.
I checked into my room, took a quick shower and was soon was sitting in front of a burger and fries along with a local IPA.
After enjoying lunch I did laundry. Later that evening, when I returned to the restaurant for dinner, I ran into Energizer. I had met him a few days ago in Seiad Valley.
Energizer is a 57 year-old retired thirty-year career Army veteran. He is one serious hiker. He started hiking from the Mexico border in mid-May and has completed over 1700 miles of the PCT in two and a half months. That’s something like 700 miles per month! In comparison, I just hiked 500+ miles in the last month – so Energizer is really moving! We ended up having dinner together and then breakfast the next morning. Then he was back on the trail. I wished him good luck.
When I started planning this PCT section hike many months ago I considered the possibility of completing Oregon also. In June, Blake (my oldest son) and I discussed the possibility of Jillienne (my oldest grandchild) joining me for the next segment of the PCT to Crater Lake. It’s about 100 miles. It would be Jillie’s first backpacking experience. Blake and Tahnee (Blake’s wife) ended up renting a VRBO house in Bend for the week that Jillie would be hiking with me. Sydney (my daughter) decided to drive down from Seattle to join them. And, since Donna was already going to be in Oregon, she would join them in Bend also.
I decided I didn’t want to miss out on a family get-together and was also concerned that six nights and one hundred miles may be too much for Jillie’s first backpacking trip. I didn’t want it to be a negative experience. After discussing with Blake, we decided that Donna and I would join them in Bend and that Jillie and I would do a two night/thirty mile hike on the PCT in central Oregon.
There was one other consideration in my decision to not hike Oregon – Donna’s knee. She was scheduled for her knee replacement in mid-September but could schedule it sooner if I was off the trail.
So that is what happened. I spent the night at Callahan’s Lodge. Donna picked me up the next day after driving up from Central California. We would spend a few days in Ashland. Then we would drive up to Bend and meet the rest of the kids and grandkids (except Travis, who had to stay home and work).
Thanks for following – Oregon can wait until year!