Day 93

Day 93 – mile 1700 to 1716 – Hello Oregon Camp to Callahan’s Camp:
The Oregon mosquito welcome party showed up at some point last night.  It seems that that they are no less pesky up here.  I was forced to set up my umbrella bug net, and did a pretty bad job of it too.
I skated out of camp a bit earlier than usual in an attempt to give myself time to get in and out of Ashland in one afternoon.  Sixteen miles to go should get me to Hwy 5 somewhere around midday, plenty of time for town business.  My feet ached a little bit from my big day yesterday, but the trail was soft and smooth.  I made very quick time around Mt. Ashland, scoring more great views of Shasta along the way.  The trail then performed some strange roller coaster maneuvers, short and steep ups and downs, made all the more frustrating by the rising heat.  Eventually, a shortcut through a dumpy old rail yard deposited me at the highway.
The first stop was Callahan’s Lodge, just on the other side of the interstate.  This place is super hiker friendly despite being set up like a fancy hunting lodge with taxidermy decorations and big, comfy sofas.  I was coming in for the free beer that they offer to hikers and info on camping on the lawn for the evening.  Other hikers were about, so I hung out a bit, cooling off and resting my tired feet.
Although I wanted to, I couldn’t sit around all day, so I grabbed my stuff and headed back to the highway to hitch into Ashland.  The ride was quick in coming, but unfortunately she dropped me off on the outskirts of town.  Thinking I was much closer, I began walking in the 100+F heat in the direction she indicated.  An hour later, I finally made it to where I was going.
Asking around at the library, no one seemed enthusiastic about the Mexican food options in town.  Disappointed, I settled for a pint of ice cream and a sip of the famously nasty Lithia water that Ashland is known for.  Disgruntled, not even the street juggler could cheer me up.  I bought my groceries, then braved the heat, 110F now on the pavement, to catch a ride back to Callahan’s.  I liked Ashland.  Despite the burrito fiasco and the heat, it had a good vibe.
Back at the lodge, there was nothing left to do but relax and enjoy the company of my fellow hikers.  The live music was heavy on the Beatles covers and the evening temperature was perfect for chilling out on the deck.  Soon, I’ll set up camp on the soft lawn and fall asleep to the comforting sounds of the garden fountain and semi trucks engine braking on the highway.


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