Angel in Ashland
A couple of weeks ago I was hiking in northern Oregon on a rainy day. Whilst filling up my water bottle from a lake side a cheery man in a puffy down jacket greeted me and offered to make me a vegetable wrap. We chatted as he prepared it from his camp kitchen.
I learnt he’s a psychotherapist working in wilderness therapy, an area of interest to me. He’s also shared he was a Trail Angel and invited me to camp in his garden when I pass through Ashland.
As I left my gorgeous camp spot by Pilot Rock this morning I texted him asking if I could stay tonight.
A former me would have gone for an AirBnB or hotel room. I’d have chosen introversion and control over the messiness of other people and the unknown. But I had an expense I hadn’t budgeted for (new shoes) and I let my intuition lead me.
I arrived at his house today, knowing he wouldn’t be home. He’d left a towel for me and had told me to help myself to the washer and drier and the shower in the master bedroom.
I had the most glorious shower in a rustic stone floored cubicle with it’s own soft lighting. It was hard to leave the delicious flow of hot water. I then did a full clothes wash and pitched my tent.
A busy day of town errands followed. My Altra trail runner shoes haven’t been working for me so I tried on and purchased a pair of Saucony Xodus – which I love. Then I had to do a big food shop for resupply. I found all the choice in the Cooperative supermarket overwhelming.
I was weary – but soon revived – by the time I met Michelle, Ryan and ManSoda for delicious Mexican food in a trendy local restaurant. Followed by good conversation and a delicious glass of Oregon Pinot.
It was dark by the time I arrived back at Scott’s house. The urban crickets were out in full force as I used my torch to navigate the streets. He greeted me warmly and we chatted briefly. I knew I was welcome here.
I felt so content as I crawled into my tent in his large tree filled garden. I didn’t need or want a fancy hotel room. All I needed was here. Scott’s kindness and trust in sharing his home is what I’ll remember most about this town.