Good bye Oregon – hello Northern California – and rain
Today I’ll cross from Oregon state into Northern California. I was told Oregon was flat and I’d face the worst mosquitos of the trail. Sadly the former was a lie and gladly the latter was too. Oregon was always going to be my fastest state as it shorter and flatter than Washington and California. The Oregon PCT is 461 miles and has taken me about has taken me about 18 days (excluding rest days).
I’m taking with me new friendships on the trail, happy memories of meeting Pete at Timberline Lodge, the beauty of the Sisters Wilderness and Crater Lake and the crazy kindness of Trail Angels.
I’m leaving behind nasty heel blisters and my Altra running shoes that don’t work for me.
The morning air is cool and the sky has more cloud than usual.
As I walk I pass many north bound hikers I congratulate them on entering Oregon. They mostly laugh and look happy. These guys have hiked 1600+ mikes through California through the worst snow in years.
And there it is.
An underwhelming sign that i could have missed if I wasn’t paying attention. And a trail register.
I’m glad to be here but I feel practical rather than emotional. I sign the register and read recent entries. It’s nice to recognise a few names. There no room to sit for lunch so I push on for another 2 miles until I find an old cabin. I sit on the steps, leaning against the wall as I eat.
As the day progresses the sky turns darker and it starts to rain. At first it’s light and I don’t bother with waterproofs but by 4pm it’s pouring down.
By the time I get into my tent everything is pretty damp so I work hard to get dry and warm. As I eat my mac and cheese, I’m wrapped up like a human burrito in my sleeping bag and liner. Unusually I have 4G. I receive messages from Kate and Anne at home – and then I chat to Pete on the phone. I feel warmer still. I don’t love the rain but fortunately my desires are irrelevant to the needs of this land. And on nights like this it remind me how lucky I am to have shelter, hot food and people who care.