Friday, August 17, 2012

Welcome to Oregon

Etna, the last town I posted in, might be the best kept secret in California. The locals loved bragging about how adorable their quaint downtown was, including an old fasion soda shoppe with pharmacy on the corner. For a town of its size, it had the best food and homemade pies at every restaurant. And don't let me get started about the brewery! Of course, I was told not to post about it because it is the best kept secret town in California.

The Love Train started in Etna. The Love Train you may wonder is a group of PCT hikers, about 15 of us, that hopped and piled in the back of a truck in Etna, packs and all, and started back out on the trail at the same time. It has been rare to see this many people bottlenecked in the same area on trail this far north but fate brought us together, and oh ya, some planning of the best backcountry meal I've ever seen!

We all met up earlier in the morning to discuss this smorgasbord of food we were about to carry out to make an extravagent backcountry meal. Hours later, dumping a truck load of relatively clean hikers off at the trail head with packs pushing weights that felt like we were back in the Sierras, we hiked in 11 miles and built a fire. As we all filtered into camp the food began exploding out of our packs. I had a five pound bag of potatoes, Wompus carried biscuits and veggies, Hallmark and Yankee Son had bananas, chocolate, and marshmellows for banana boats, and others had sausages, onions, garlic, and butter. The best truely of all was miss Honey Bear. She walked in and took 10 pounds out of her pack - ten pounds of wine. We packed in a huge bag of wine and decided to celebrate by passing it around in our 15 person circle and drinking directly from the large bag that quickly loss weight with every sip. After a few hours of preparation and cooking on the fire, I had one of the most delicious and anticipated meals in my bowl which rapidly went directly to my stomach. Such an amazing night.

California is just shy of 1,700 miles long via the PCT. It is by far the longest section of the trail and reaching Oregon is a huge, I mean HUGE milestone. The Love Train was still rolling along together before the boarder and the night before we knew we would hit Oregon, we couldn't stop talking about it! Spud and Honey Bear are both from Oregon and have been anticipating 'making it back home' the last three and a half months. Spud, Scarecrow and a few others left camp earlier than I did that morning so I knew they would hit the boarder just before I did. The trail meandered around a lot and out of no where I heard a bunch of yelling and cheering. I knew they had made it and I was soooo close! I hit the last switchback in California and then 200 feet in front of me was 11 other hikers, most in the Love Train, laughing, hugging and cheering me in, greeting me to my first time in Oregon! We hung out at the boarder for almost an hour. Tons of photos were taken and bags of candy was passed around. It seemed like everyone had packed in the large sized bag of m&m's, skittles or starbursts to share. There was a trail register and someone had written a note that said, "Trail Magic 2 miles ahead!" We decided to take off because we figured we could continue our celebration and enjoy some tasty treats from them. I put on my pack and followed 7 others with Honey Bear right in front of me. About .2 miles later Honey Bear looked behind and said, "Oh, Adriana!" and there up the trail, not 2 miles but .2 miles was a huge group of people with party hats, food, and best of all Ryan. Ryan had driven from Colorado after his job directly up to the boarder of Oregon and California to suprise me! I stopped dead in my tracks, mouth gaping like a goon as he approached. It was amazing to see him especially since I thought I wouldn't until after I had completed the trail. Definitely, by far, one of the best days on trail.

The first town in Oregon is called Ashland, which is known for it's Shakespearean theatre and lithium water fountains. We took a day and a half off there to celebrate some more, spend time with Spud's family and Ryan, resupply, and relax. It was a really enjoyable stop along the trail and at some points, like when we saw a show at the theatre, I felt like I wasn't even hiking anymore. Spud's family treated us to so many meals and were graciously hospitable. Having my best friend around in Ashland too really recharged my energy to keep pushing on to Canada. I feel so special to have such supportive and loving people in my life.

Next stop, Crater Lake and venturing through new terrain I've never seen! Oregon... I can't wait to see you!

Love and miss you all,

The Love Train

No comments:

Post a Comment