Friday, July 31, 2015

Day 106 - Olallie Resort

Thursday July 30

"Strength from a butterfly and the hoot of an owl."

I got on the trail at 5:15. There was just enough light to see. It was really warm, too, probably in the 70's. I wasn't feeling very well and might have had a slight fever.  I felt clammy and hot. 

Fortunately the first few miles headed downhill. When it came to heading uphill, however, I felt really weak. That's when it happened. I know people are going to say Bobaroo has lost his mind, but I'll tell it anyway. All of a sudden a white butterfly flew in front of me up the trail and at the same time an owl began hooting in the forest. Then I swear I heard a whisper in my head, "Strength from a butterfly and the hoot of an owl." From that moment on, it was as if I was re-energized. I no longer felt clammy or weak. I can't explain it, but that's exactly what happened. Perhaps I am losing my mind! If so, it made the day very enjoyable!

By mid morning I climbed to Jefferson Park, a large meadow with regulated camp sites. It is regulated due to overuse, and campers can only camp in specific areas. There are also fabulous views of the north side of Mount Jefferson, which has several large glaciers.

Beyond Jefferson Park, the trail climbed steeply to the top of a ridge where I got my first view of Mount Hood. If my head wasn't in the way, you could see it too!

I found out that there is a small store on Olallie lake at the Olallie Lake Resort. The resort is very near the trail. I hurried all afternoon and arrived at 2:30.

I bought and enjoyed a couple of cold beers and a Pepsi. They also had canister fuel, so I bought one because I might run out before getting to Timberline Lodge. I found out that the temperature today was above 90, so it had been sweaty hiking all afternoon. 

I decided to hike a few more miles and camped at Jude lake. It was so warm that I decided to take a swim. The lake bottom was really muddy and I churned it up as I paddled around. It sure felt good, but I hope I don't get swimmers itch!

By the way, I have not heard any more whispering. I have not seen any more white butterflies or heard any more hooting owls. But I feel great tonight!

I am camped tonight at PCT mile 2058. I hiked 26.8 miles today. The elevation here is 4,730 feet. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Day 105 - Mount Jefferson Wilderness

Wednesday July 29

My air mattress is fixed! There might still be a tiny leak, but it stayed sufficiently inflated all night. 

I think I know what punctured it. All of the holes were towards the bottom of the mattress. When it was warm at night, I would unzip my sleeping bag and use it as a cover when it cooled at night. Since I have a mummy bag, it will only unzip down to my ankles. I stick my feet in the pocket at the bottom. The sleeping bag is designed to have the zipper underneath me. As I slept, my legs would push down on the zipper pull. With enough pressure, it would poke a hole. Now I will position the zipper on top. Hopefully, there will be no more holes!

I woke up at first light and was on the trail by 5:30. When I reached highway 20, Santiam Pass, I entered the Mount Jefferson Wilderness. The trail then climbed 1,800 feet to the base of Three Fingered Jack.

On the way up, I saw a herd of elk. They quickly disappeared into the forest before I could take a picture. 

As the trail climbed beyond Three Fingered Jack, Mount Jefferson came into view.

For the rest of the day I got closer and closer to the mountain. As a bonus, there were a lot of ripe blueberries. I had to pause a couple of times to pick a few.

By the way, the trail today was exceptionally dusty, sometimes with an inch of dust. When the breeze blew from behind, I ended up walking in a dust cloud! 

By 4, I was tired, mainly because I am carrying 5 days of food and enough water to dry camp. The pack felt heavier and heavier as the day wore on. 

I found a nice campsite nestled in the trees, although there are pesky yellow jackets buzzing around my tent. 

I am camped tonight at PCT mile 2031.3. I hiked 27.5 miles today. The elevation here is 5,749 feet. 

Did you notice?

Next to the rocks was a ziplock bag. A note said, "Congratulations on reaching mile 2000! Roll yourself a joint!" I didn't, but I thought the message was cute!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Day 104 - Big Lake Youth Camp

Tuesday July 28

It was windy until midnight last night. I camped in a burn area, but I was sheltered near a growth of new trees. During one gust, I heard a loud "crack" and then the screech as a tree was falling! It hit not more than 20 feet from my tent! I guess that's just one more thing I need to watch!

Also, my air mattress still has a small leak somewhere. I had to blow more air into it twice during the night. I'll check it out again when I get to Big Lake Youth Camp. 

I was on the trail at 5:45. Fortunately the trail was easy walking; no more lava rocks! I reached the camp shortly before 8 and got my resupply box.

They have a special building for PCT hikers. First, however, I had breakfast at their cafeteria. They serve only vegetarian dishes. The scrambled eggs had broccoli in it. I also had hot cereal and two bowls of cold cereal along with slices of pear. 

I put together my food for the next 5 days. I still need some snacks, but the camp store didn't open until 9:30. One of the camp staff was headed shopping, and she agreed to pick up some pastries for me. 

I took a shower and assembled my dirty clothes. They do your laundry and have it ready by 6 PM. 

I took my air mattress down to the lake, inflated it, and checked for leaks. I couldn't find any for the longest time until I spotted it. I brought it back to the hiker building and put a patch on it. Hopefully it is fully repaired now. 

While at the lake, some of the campers were out boating.

I had lunch at the cafeteria. There was cheese lasagna, cooked green beans, and a crisp apple. I went back for a second helping!

The camp store had very little in the way of snacks. I managed to get enough to last me for the next five days. 

The camp does not charge for their services, but will accept donations. I put a good sum into their donation box. 

At 6, the camp had a fire drill. Everyone evacuated to the parking lot. I checked to see how our laundry was doing; they hadn't even finished washing. 

I went to dinner and had watermelon, pizza and green salad. They also had chocolate milk which was "oh, so good!"

Camp policy requires PCT hikers to camp offsite. I needed my clothes from the laundry in order to pack up and leave. After dinner, I found all the clothes still in the washing machine, so I took out my clothes. My socks will dry hanging from the back of my pack and my hiking pants will be dry after a half hour of hiking. 

I left camp at 7:30 and made it back to the trail by 8. I quickly found a flat spot and was in bed by 8:30. I think that's the quickest I have ever set up camp!

The Big Lake Youth Camp was an extremely enjoyable time. Good food (and lots of it), lots of friendly staff, a great hiker cabin, phone service, WiFi, showers, and a camp store. I even got pastries delivered to me!  The only improvements would have been to let us do our own laundry and to have a better selection of hiking food. 

I am camped tonight at PCT mile 2003.8. The elevation here is 4,702 feet. 

Day 103 - Mount Washington Wilderness

Monday July 27

My air mattress sprung a leak last night. I ended up sleeping on my Zlite mattress, which certainly is not as comfortable when sleeping on hard ground. I decided that I would stop at South Matthieu lake, about 15 miles away, dunk the mattress in the lake to check for leaks, and try to repair it. I have plenty of time since I am within 30 miles of my next resupply. 

I got on the trail at 5:50 and noticed that the sky was starting to clear. I might get to see the Three Sisters after all! Sure enough, it wasn't long before I had some nice views.

I then passed through the Obsidian Limited Entry area. This is a two mile area that has an abundance of obsidian, a dark volcanic rock from which the natives used to make arrowheads. A special permit is required for entry into the area. My long-distance hiking permit grants me access. The rocks sparkle in the sunlight.

The trail climbed several lava flows. The hiking was difficult because the trail was covered with sharp, abrasive volcanic rock. Often the rocks would roll under my feet. Occasionally I could feel a sharp rock through the sole of my shoe, or worse yet, poking the side of my foot. I'm sure it put a lot of wear on my shoes.

At noon I reached South Matthieu lake. I dunked my air mattress and found two small leaks. Fortunately I had a repair kit, and I patched the holes. I felt good about my field repairs!

By mid-afternoon the trail climbed another lava flow for two miles. It was difficult hiking and my legs were tired. Even after the trail left the lava flow, the area is entirely comprised of volcanic rocks. The trail is littered with all sizes of rocks, making it difficult to walk without stumbling. I decided to camp at 3:30. 

I am camped at PCT mile 1995.1. 
I hiked 25.2 miles today. The elevation here is 5,329 feet. 

By the way, I am laying here on my repaired air mattress! So far so good. Yippee!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Day 102 - Lakes & Ponds

Sunday July 26

I knew I was going to be hiking through beautiful country in the Three Sisters Wilderness, but I was not prepared for this!  

All morning I passed lake after lake and pond after pond. Some lakes were large and deep, with ducks swimming about, birds singing, and fish rising for their morning meal, leaving a ripple on the surface. Many ponds were small, maybe an acre, with submerged logs and grass crowding the shore. There were lakes and ponds with lily pads and frogs all around the little streams. At one point the trail passed a campsite that was between two difficult lakes. A fly fisherman could catch a fish casting either direction!

When I wasn't passing by lakes, I traveled through forests where blueberries and huckleberries were in abundance. The huckleberry bushes are tiny, growing no taller then a foot high. Some had itsy-bitty teeny-weenie berries. Some had no berries at all.

The blueberry bushes were knee to waist high. Some had a few berries; most had no berries at all. If I was making pancakes, I would have had fresh blueberries in them! I did stop occasionally to sample a ripe berry. 

Unfortunately, there were low clouds all day and it was rather cool. I had to hike hard and fast to keep warm. At the top of one hill, I know there was a beautiful view, but I just saw clouds hugging the hilltops.

When I got to Sisters Mirror Lake, I was hoping that I could see the reflection of the mountains in the lake. Unfortunately it was still cloudy and a breeze ripped the water. As I was heading up the trail, a nice couple stopped to chat. They were amazed that I was doing a through hike. I told them about the difficulties going through the Sierras and that I had lost almost 30 pounds. I look like a war refugee from some prison camp!  To my amazement, they gave me half of their sandwich!  Of course a hiker never refuses food! I graciously thanked them.

I was going to save the sandwich for dinner, but it looked so good that I ate it as I hiked along. The fresh tomato, lettuce, cheese and spices between whole wheat bread melted in my mouth! It was wonderful! Many thanks to such generous folks from Portland!

The trail then crossed a two mile wide pumice field and an amazing volcanic outflow.

By 4:30 I found a campsite and had beef stroganoff with pepperoni bits, Fritos and olive oil. Of course, I had my cup of hot chocolate!

I am camped tonight at PCT mile 1969.9. I hiked 30.7 miles today. The elevation here is 6,081 feet. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Day 101 - Three Sisters Wilderness

Saturday July 25

The camping in the PCT hiker area at the Shelter Cove Resort costs $8. I guess it covers the cost of potable water and the use of the outhouse. Otherwise, we were told to walk to site 33 and find a flat spot in the woods. I must say there were a lot of flat spots and I didn't have any problems with critters in the night. However, the nearby train did go by at 2 AM and blew its whistle, waking everyone in camp. I figure that my $8 showed support for their efforts to assist through hikers. 

I packed up at first light, and hiked the road and side trail a mile until it rejoined the PCT. The trail climbed 1,200 feet over the ridge and repeated this as it crossed several other ridges. 

The views were sparse today because the trail stayed mainly in the forest and because it was mostly cloudy. There is a 30% chance of rain tonight. 

I love Saturdays when there are others on the trail. I talked to several groups about my through hike and it was fun telling about my adventure. One gentleman was so interested that he is going to check out my blog! The conversations put a new bounce in my step. 

I took a break at Charlton Lake and replenished my water. It was warm in the sun.

Soon I walked through another area burned by a lightning caused fire. The fire was called the Charlton Fire and it burned over 10,000 acres. The fire happened almost 20 years ago. When I looked around all I could see were burnt trees in every direction. The good news is that young trees are beginning to grow and pretty wildflowers were everywhere.

I just entered the Three Sisters Wilderness area. I decided to camp at Brahama Lake since my feet and legs are tired. It's rather windy and chilly tonight, and I am already wearing my down vest.

I am camped at PCT mile 1939.3. I hiked 26.5 miles today (plus a one mile road walk). The elevation here is 5,697 feet. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Day 100 - Shelter Cove Resort

Friday July 24

One hundred days hiking the Pacific Crest Trail!  A lot has happened in those 100 days. All of the days in the green desert. The physically challenging high Sierras followed by the equally difficult mountains of Northern California. 

I didn't take many pictures today. The trail from Summit Lake went through the forest and up to the ridge again. I could see the Three Sisters in the distance. 

My goal was the resort on Odell Lake, called Shelter Cove Resort. It was a 17 mile hike and I arrived just before noon.

No-Tent was there, and Cut-Finger arrived a few hours later. I got my resupply box and bought a few extra snacks to get me to my next resupply in four days at the Big Lake Youth Camp. I will need to hike 21.7 miles a day to arrive in four days. 

My biggest concern today was to charge up my electronics. It is likely that I won't have power again until Timberline Lodge, about 9 days from today. The store had an electrical outlet, so I plugged in my battery backup right away. It was fully recharged in three hours. I'm crossing my fingers that it will last until I arrive at Timberline Lodge!

I also hope my stove has enough fuel to last 7 more days. I already have 6 boils from the fuel canister. I should be able to get 7 more (crossing my fingers)! The store didn't have any cartridges for sale, so I will make do with what I have. I called my hiking buddy, Deb, from the trail and asked her to bring a new fuel canister to Timberline Lodge. 

I took a 3-minute shower and No-Tent did our laundry. I should have clean socks now until my next resupply. 

I ate as much store food as possible including a hot dog with all the fixings, a couple of pieces of pizza, a muffin and several beers to pack it all in. I was hoping to rent a room or cabin, but they are all full. I opted to camp in the area for PCT hikers. 

I head back out tomorrow and will be excited to see the Three Sisters Wilderness. 

I am camped tonight at Shelter Cove, PCT mile 1912.8. The elevation here is 4,867 feet. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Day 99 - Summit Lake

Thursday July 23

When I start hiking in the morning, I rarely have a specific destination in mind. Rather, I know that I have to hike a minimum number of miles in order to make it to my next resupply without running out of food. For this section, I need to average 21.6 miles per day. I usually try to hike additional miles in the first several days so that on the last day there are fewer miles to hike to reach my destination. 

This morning I knew that the availability of water was going to be a determining factor. A reliable water source was 19.4 miles away, with the one after that another 9 miles. I planned to go to the first source at 19.4 miles. If I felt good and still had plenty of water to drink, I would go on to the next water source. If I was tired or didn't think I could hike another 9 miles, I would fill up and carry an extra 1.5 liters so I could dry camp. 

The trail this morning headed down the mountain and into the forest. There were very few views, and when I could see out, I saw more tree-covered hills. I got to Windigo pass at 11:30. Someone had left a cache of water! I only needed to fill my 16 oz bottle and had not used any of the other 2 liters I was carrying. This is what the cache looks like.

From here the trail climbed 1,400 feet. Halfway up was the trail to the first water source, but I was feeling good and decided to try to make it to Summit Lake. Once over the top, the trail dropped almost 2,000 feet. I arrived at the lake and found a campsite by 4. I had beans and rice for dinner, seasoned with "slap yo mama". It was yummy! I took this picture a few feet from my campsite.

I am camped at PCT mile 1896.1. I hiked 29.2 miles today. The elevation here is 5,462 feet. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Day 98 - Mount Thielsen Wilderness

Wednesday July 22

I fell asleep last night in my hiking clothes. I used my sleeping bag as a cover as I slept on my air mattress. By morning, however, it was really chilly and I bundled tighter and tighter in my sleeping bag. I was too tired to zip it up or to rummage through my clothes bag for my down jacket. Perhaps tonight I will wear my jacket!

The other oddity last night was how quiet it was. Usually I will hear birds or snapping branches. I heard nothing. There wasn't any wind either. I wonder if the lack of water has a significant impact on animal populations?

I got up a bit later and was on the trail just before 6. It was easy hiking with the trail pretty level for many miles. Unfortunately the trail passed through a pine forest with no view, so it was somewhat boring. I think I was also recovering from yesterday's excitement. 

At 9 I entered the Thielsen Wilderness. I remember seeing Mount Thielsen from the air on our flight yesterday. It didn't look very impressive then, but it looks pretty awesome from the trail.

At one of the high points, I could just make out the snowy tops of the Three Sisters mountains.

By 12:30 I made it to Thielsen creek, the first water source since leaving Crater Lake. Since the next reliable source isn't for 16 miles, I decided to carry another 1.5 liters so I can dry camp tonight. 

I also made it to the high point for the PCT in Oregon, 7,560 feet.

I stopped early because I found a good camping spot and I already had almost 24 miles for today. The extra bonus is that I have phone service!

I am camped at PCT mile 1866.9. The elevation here is 7,386 feet. 

Day 97 - Flying High

Tuesday July 21

With the arrival yesterday of my son Paul and his friend Nick, I didn't think a day could get better. But today was superb!

I managed to "sleep in" until 6:30.  Once up, I packed my backpack and loaded up with 4 liters of water. 

Paul was already up having fixed coffee and cantaloupe. Both were tasty. Paul said the deer had visited again and the little fawn had spots. I took one last picture of the house, which is called "Country Treasure".

We had a great breakfast in Klamath Falls. I enjoyed a Denver omelette with country fries. 

Now for the best part. Nick took us up in his airplane!  We flew over Crater Lake and followed the PCT northward all the way past the Three Sisters. I used my phone app (Guthook's PCT) to show us where the trail was relative to the airplane. It was fantastic!

When we returned, we headed back to Crater Lake. We stopped at the Rim Village where we had a great lunch eating the goodies sent by my brother Ron. I boiled water and we heated stew, pasta and corn soup. They were all fabulous. We also had muffins. For dessert I had the last piece of cheesecake!  Paul and I shared a beer.

What a splendid way to celebrate! They dropped me off at the trailhead and I headed north. I felt sad having to leave such good company, but I have miles to go before this adventure is over!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who helped make this visit so wonderful!

I managed to hike for three hours on the Crater Lake Rim trail. Of course the lake is beautiful!

I camped at the Grouse Hill camp at 5:30. I am at PCT mile 1843.2. I hiked 9.1 miles today. The elevation here is 6,646 feet. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Day 96 - Crater Lake

Monday July 20

I tried to sleep in this morning, but the excitement of seeing my son Paul and his friend Nick got me on the trail at 5! It is almost 16 miles to Mazama Village, so I estimated I'd arrive at noon. 

The trail was fairly easy with only a few climbs. A portion passed through a burnt forest. The morning sun was striking.

I got into a rhythm while hiking and arrived at Mazama Village at 10:30. I was really surprised that there was no cell phone service!

No-tent had just arrived so we had lunch together at the Annie Creek restaurant. Kinetic also joined us, since he was waiting for a hiker box to arrive. 

Paul and Nick arrived around 2:30. We headed to Klamath Falls and stopped at the local grocery store to get some snacks. We also got steaks and salad for dinner. 

Paul had reserved a bread and breakfast house for us, but we needed to wait until 4:30 to meet with the owner. We stopped at the Klamath Brewery and had a beer! The IPA was good enough that we brought a growler with us. 

The BnB was wonderful. Here is a picture of the lady that owns the place.

I was able to do laundry and take a shower while Paul and Nick made dinner. We had an amazing salad along with barbecued steak. My brother Ron sent along several beers which we enjoyed during and after dinner. The Black Diamond Pizza and Deli cheese cake was heavenly!

Many, many "thank you's" to Tara, Kathy, Ron, and everyone else who sent care packages. I now have camp shoes, spices and goodies!

It was wonderful sitting in the shade and watching a hawk fly overhead, humming birds at the feeder, and deer with a little faun wandering across the lawn. It has been an amazing day!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Day 95 - Mosquitoes

Sunday July 19

As I mentioned yesterday, the Sky Lakes Wilderness has a reputation for lots of mosquitoes. When I got ready to go, I didn't have any problems. I was on the trail at 5 because I wanted to have a good day of hiking. I had to use my headlamp for a while because it was so dark. 

As soon as it was light, however, clouds of the little beasts attacked. It was like King Kong on the Empire State Building with the airplanes circling. I was King Kong and the mosquitoes were the airplanes. I couldn't out-walk them, and they seemed to know when I was going to swat at them. I finally had to put on my mosquito head net in order to keep my sanity. A few managed to get under the net, but they were swiftly eliminated. 

The onslaught continued for over ten miles. Once I stopped to get a drink of water and forgot I had the net on. The water dribbled down the front of my shirt. When I stopped for a break, they would cover my pants. A few managed to bite through my sun gloves!

Although the trail went through the forest for most of the morning, I did see these pretty flowers. Does anyone know what they are?

By afternoon the trail started climbing towards Devils Peak. As soon as it did, there were no more mosquito problems. Thank goodness!

Near the top, I noticed I had cell service. I called my wife and told her about the awesome view of Mount McLaughlin.

The trail finally headed down after reaching 7,300 feet. I was happy to be headed down!

I wanted to hike far enough today so that I would reach Crater Lake by midday. It is 15.6 miles to the highway to Mazama Village. 

I hiked 30.5 miles today!  My feet are tired!

I am camped at PCT mile 1813.9. The elevation here is 6,200 feet. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Day 94 - Lava Rocks

Saturday July 18

I slept well last night. The soft pine needles made the perfect bed for cowboy camping. 

I was on the trail at 5:30. I bought a filled donut with chocolate frosting to eat while hiking. After bumping around in my food bag, it was rather messy. I enjoyed it anyway!

The trail wound through a forested area for most of the morning. Even though it was sunny, I couldn't wear my sunglasses because it made the trail too dark. I must admit it was rather boring without views. The only animal I saw was a little fawn. 

I stopped for water at the Brown Mountain shelter. It has a well with great cold water. Windscreen was there along with three other through hikers. The shelter marks the two-thirds compete point for northbound hikers!

From the shelter, the trail crossed miles of lava rock. I got a picture of one of the lava fields with Mount McLaughlin in the distance.

I wanted to go 30 miles today, but my back started hurting. I fixed dinner at a rest stop by a creek near highway 140. Just beyond the trail enters the Sky Lakes Wilderness. From here to Crater Like, there are bad mosquito problems. I ended up hiking with my mosquito head net!

I am camped tonight at PCT mile 1783.4. I hiked 26.4 miles today. The elevation here is 5,900 feet. 

Day 93 - Slips, Trips & Falls

Friday July 17

I hit the ground hard. My left shoulder took the brunt of the impact. I felt an odd pain and thought to myself, "this could be the end of my hike."

Earlier this morning, Windscreen and I got a ride from the Ashland Taxi Service to the trail. Windscreen picked up most of the $16 tab because I had paid for our ride into town. We hit the trail at 6:20. 

The trail went through a lot of dense forest so it was difficult to see the trail clearly. I seemed to be able to trip over every rock, root and branch. I also felt tired from last nights fun at the brewery. 

There seemed to be a lot of wildlife today. I saw several deer, a black bear cub, a bird that landed on my trekking pole, and chipmunks galore. There were even coyotes yipping in the distance!

The trail passed right by Pilot Rock. Some savvy campers knew where to find a good view.

Peregrine falcons nest in some of the areas around Pilot Rock. Those areas were closed for technical rock climbing. 

The trail also passed through an area where the Mardon skipper butterfly lives. The butterfly is a candidate for the endangered species list, and hikers were cautioned to stay on the trail. 

When going downhill, I often scurry along quickly. I should have remembered my tendency for tripping. Somehow a root or rock caught my left foot. I tried to maintain my balance, but I couldn't. As I described in the beginning of this blog, I hit the ground hard. My water bottle went flying as did everything in my shirt pocket. I was afraid to move my arm, fearing that I had done real damage. Fortunately, everything seemed OK, but it gave me a real fright!

At midday I stopped at the outlet for Hyatt Reservoir. This was one of the few on-trail sources for water.

There also were large fields filled with a plant that had yellow flowers. Most of the flowers had faded, leaving an incredible spiked top. They were really sharp and hurt when you brushed by them. Does anyone know what they are?

By 5:30 my back and feet were aching. I am camped tonight at PCT mile 1757.0. I hiked 30.5 miles today. The elevation here is 4687 feet. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Day 92 - Ashland Day of Rest

Thursday July 16

I was sound asleep last night at 10 PM when the phone rang. Who would be calling?  It was Willie! He had left Callihan's at 10 AM yesterday morning, hiked all day and was in his tent. He is doing well. His doctor said it was OK to keep hiking and the numbness in his leg was common in people carrying backpacks all day. It was good to hear his voice; I just wish the call would have come a week ago. It looks like I will be two days behind him for a while.

I had breakfast again at the Morning Glory restaurant. Their French toast with fresh blackberries and lemon butter was superb!

I contacted the taxi service and arranged to be picked up tomorrow at 6. I need to put in a 25 mile day tomorrow in order to get to Crater Lake by Monday afternoon. 

I felt antsy all morning, so I decided to walk downtown. I noticed several hair salons were open with the sign, "walk-ins welcome". 

The Sunshine Salon had an opening with only a half-hour wait, so I waited to get my hair and beard cut. I guess I won't have to hack at my beard after all! 

Mary was the stylist who helped me. She did a wonderful job and was very interested in my through hike. I really like her and the staff at the salon! I hope you like my new look as well.

I had lunch at the Stone Brewing Company. Their cheese burger, sweet potato fries and double IPA beer was wonderful. 

I decided to sit by the pool at the motel because it was a beautiful warm day. At the other end of the pool was Windscreen! He had decided to take a "zero" day and was staying at the motel.

In addition, Hog and Tinker were here too!  We lounged there until dinner time, when we all decided to have dinner at the Stone Brewing Company. We were joined there by Magic and Poka-Dot. The food and beer were great!

I had their fish and chips, which were really tasty. However, by the end of dinner I realized that I had too much to drink. I even left the restaurant without my hat! Fortunately, Windscreen grabbed it and the mile walk back to the motel helped to clear my mind. 

Tomorrow I am back on the trail. It has been a fun time in Ashland!

Note: you can read more about Mary, my barber, at: