The Oregon leg begins

I’m currently reclining on my rolled up sleeping bag inside my tent, waiting for the sky to turn dark and the Perseids (meteorite shower) to begin. It’s like waiting for a movie to begin except there’s no previews and no popcorn.

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The rest in Ashland was just what I needed. I don’t think I’m magically healed, but I’m in much better shape than when I arrived. After Dale dropped me at the hostel the owner Sid let me check in early and I was wrapped to find the room had an adjoining bathroom with a freestanding bathtub! I had three baths in the space of about 12 hours and made the most of my one day of privacy making Skype calls to my parents and eating the treats my mate Jessie in Oz had sent me. I had enough food in the room that I didn’t leave the hostel for the rest of the day, and only left my room when Sir Poppins, the Aussie hiker who attempted the pancake challenge in Seiad Valley, offered to share the huge pot of spaghetti bolognese he’d made with me and Robin Hood.

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The next morning after my third bath I moved upstairs to one of the dorm rooms and finally stepped outside the hostel. I headed towards the central plaza and scoped out a place to eat breakfast. As I wandered around I felt like I was on a weird solo vacation in a completely foreign city but with familiar faces (hikers) popping up here and there. I went to a place called Brothers and sat at the bench looking out the window feeling somewhat lonely and a little sorry for myself. As the waiter was about to take my ordered I spotted Lullaby on the other side of the road and literally jumped off my seat and ran out the door of the restaurant. I was so happy to see someone from my old original hiking group that I burst into tears as he crossed the road. I dragged him in for breakfast and we caught up on the last 1000 miles as I hadn’t seen him since just after Kennedy Meadows.

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In the afternoon I had a massage by a man named Daniel, who was recommended by a girl from Ashland I met one day on the trail. He worked on the area where I’m getting the shooting nerve pain and we talked a lot about what the possible cause is and how to reduce it. Afterwards he dropped me at the post office where I sent ahead my Olympus camera, SPOT device, water bladder and a few other items to Cascade Locks, which I believe I can live without for the Oregon leg. Even these few items have made a major difference to my base weight, and with only four days of food to Crater Lake my pack is feeling much lighter.

I went to the outdoor store and got new ends for my hiking poles which had completely worn out (again), then headed to the Ashland Food Cooperative which was full or organic goods and a juice bar where I asked for the most healthy item on their menu!

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In addition to Lullaby, I bumped into some of my other favourite hikers including Dingo and Mud who I had breakfast with on Saturday morning, Katie who I haven’t seen since the mosquito hell through Yosemite, and Leaky and Moonshine who I’m pretty sure snuck off the trail at Truckee just to get away from me! 🙂 I also met a lot of new hikers including a guy called Sunshine who told me they were planning to make a spoof video of my mountain lion encounter but weren’t sure if I’d be offended or not. Almost every hiker I meet now has heard some version of the story and I’ve probably told the story myself at least 100 times. I hope they make the spoof video, I’m looking forward to hearing someone impersonate me with an Aussie accent!

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This morning before I hit the trail again, Leaky, Moonshine and Sagitar cooked up a storm in the kitchen of the hostel and shared it with the group of us staying there. I was going to eat some stale leftover bread with peanut butter which was too painful for them to watch.

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Just as I polished off the eggs, pancake and sausage, Dale (who dropped me at the hostel on Thursday), his wife Sarah and the two Shiba Inus picked me up again and took me back to the trail. Thank you so much guys!!! I was walking again by 10:30am and felt really good after getting another massage from Daniel yesterday afternoon. I also got a new piece of padding to put between my skin and my hip belt which seems to be reducing the pressure on my nerve. I stopped 9 miles in for lunch and was feeling great until a bee got caught between my thigh and shorts and stung me just as I was about to sit down.

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After waking a sleeping hiker with the commotion of the bee sting I ate lunch with another hiker called ‘That Arsehole’ who I’ve heard about but never met before. He’d had an interesting run in with two bears one night so we shared our wild animal encounters with one another. The next descent water source was at least 11 miles away, but just as so many had promised, the miles did tick over quickly on the well graded Oregon trail! Alleluia!

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It’s 22:30 and I’m not seeing a lot of action in the sky just yet. Fuller, where are the shooting stars you promised!!??

13 thoughts on “The Oregon leg begins

  1. Stars are coming……..this is a great shower. I like to think it’s to celebrate my husband’s birthday August 16th. Hope your bee sting is better. As I say to my grandsons when they hurt themselves………I sorry that happened to you! See you in WA! Little River is whipping us all into action to support your journey through our beautiful state!

  2. I am glad to hear you are feeling so much better (except for the sting…), got some rest and met so many nice people! Hope you can continue this way without too much pain and that you got to see some shooting stars. Take care and have fun hiking!

  3. I’m impressed you are back on the trail so soon!! I hope things go as well as possible and Oregon is easy on your body!!

  4. I can meet you in Shelter Cove if you are there on either a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. If you think you will be there then, just email me. Let me know if I can bring you anything (like fresh food :)). I could also try to rent a cabin there but they are most likely all booked up.

    • At this stage I think I’ll arrive there Sunday afternoon or evening depending on how the body holds up! That might make things difficult for you to be there but I appreciate the offer of fresh food! I’ll see how the next few days play out 🙂

      • Where do you think you will camp Saturday night? We don’t need to meet at Shelter Cove. I’m looking at my map of PCT access points and I see these possibilities: Windigo Pass on forest rd 60 and North Crater PCT access on hwy 138. We could even do Mazama Village or Crater Lake Lodge. I’m thinking we might try to camp Saturday night in one of those areas? You can email me directly if you wish. (Also think of food requests and send me ideas–Eugene has almost every kind of food.)

        We will see how things go. I really hope your pain gets better and the hiking isn’t horrible.

      • I’ll be camping at Windigo Pass tonight (Sat), only just got 4G but still hard to get messages out. Hope you receive this!

  5. Hi Rozanne,
    My uncle, Dave Gruol, told me about your tremendous adventure and I’ve been following with great interest. My girlfriend, Jamie and I live in Bend, Oregon, near Sisters. It would be our honor to offer you a place to stay and a lift around town while you’re in our area. Also, while the notice may be a bit too short, if you would like an address for sending supplies, you’re very welcome to use our house as a collection point. Good luck with your next leg, and welcome to Oregon!
    Mike G.

    • Hi Mike, great to hear from you! I’m glad you’ve been able to follow along on the journey! At this stage I’m expecting to arrive at Big Lake Youth Camp around the 22nd which is 6 miles before the exit to Bend. Your uncle has my email address so perhaps email me your phone number and we can keep in touch as I get closer. I need to be in Cascade Locks before the 29th so if I fall behind I’ll likely have to keep moving. Will keep you updated!

  6. Howdy Roxanne,
    Glad you got some R & R, including 2! massages, and home cookin! Funny, how we sometimes feel more alone in a crowd, than in nature, so glad you meet some of your trail pals to connect with. If it’s any help, some people actually do bee sting therapy, (forgot what it actually helps),
    Re. the man comment, here’s a song you may enjoy, (if able to access it on the web). Good on you that you expressed your feelings back to him. You may know of Neko Case, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unNa-9qGkfI
    Keep on growing into the amazing person you are,
    s2

  7. When I met some PCT hikers this weekend I found out many didn’t know about all the edible berries on the trail. Oregon and Washington are now hitting prime berry picking time and you should be able to find a lot of these berries on the trail. Almost all the berries you find will be edible (it will be hard to find any that are dangerous–I have only found those on the coast and near Mt Hood.)

    So Oregon has lots of huckleberry bushes in the Mts. There are two to three types of blue ones and one red one. Some are as big as blue berries, but most are smaller. They all taste great. You might also find currants, they are good, but not as good as the huckleberries. Oregon Grape also has edible berries that won’t hurt you but taste nasty. At the lower elevations you’ll find lots of blackberries. They taste really good. My favorite are thimbleberries, but it would be hard to find them I think at this time of year.

    If you find any clover looking plants, try nibbling on them. They are Oxalis. They taste like lemon and are rich in Vitamin C. Just don’t eat too much because the acid in them can hurt your stomach (it’s nearly impossible to eat too much as they taste like lemon). I usually eat several handfuls each time I hike and I’ve never have had an issue w them.

    Candy flower, or winter purslane might also be found. But it’s late in the season for them. They taste like good lettuce. It’s nice to eat them and oxalis when you are craving freshness.

    Images of these are easy to find on Google. I hope you are able to do some foraging, it can make hiking more enjoyable 🙂 (PS I accidentally posted this on an older entry first)

  8. Hi darling, great to see those photos of your hiker friends and the good food you are eating. It looks like a good time together. My gosh, that bee dug into you, yes very painful. I hope that you will see the shooting stars, Fuller promised you. Enjoy Oregon and I hope that it is easy for you, you haven’t got Spot there. Success darling, love mutti xxoo

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