Day 83: To Ashland or bust

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Mile 1708.2 to mile 1718.9 (10.7 miles, 17.2km)

There was no hurry today. With only around 10 miles to walk for the day I slept in… slightly.

This decision was also due to lack of sleep last night. Just after the sun had set and I’m about to pass out in bed a group of four foreign hikers rolled into the shelter. Rolling in late wasn’t an issue, that happens, but the fact that they then all had to cook dinner and sit around for a few hours talking really loudly in their foreign tongue really bugged me. Maybe I was just hangry and irritable. One of them was also a freight train snorer. Arrhhh. Not sure how his mates put up with that every night.

So a leisurely start to the day it was.

The trail junction at this end was clearly marked as closed.

The walk towards Ashland was flattish and straight forward. If this is what Oregon is going to be like, I like what I see.

Just before teaching the highway was a railway line that had to be crossed. An abandoned building sitting close to the tracks decorated by bright graffiti and door hanging by one hinge, piles of junk and sleepers made the perfect movie set.

I found a shady spot close to the tracks, stripped off my hiking shirt and had a wet wipe bath. I like to clean up an bit before heading back to civilisation. Layers of caked on dirt wiped away to reveal pale white legs underneath.

A freight train comes past as I’m doing this, slowing as it comes through the ‘yard’. Many of the container doors opened. I couldn’t help but think what I hobo I’ve become sitting by the side of a railway line trying to look clean. It also passed my mind that I could jump that train and be a real hobo. Wonder where it’s headed? Does it matter? What an adventure that would be.

Some what cleaner and wearing my town shirt I hit the highway and headed to Callahan’s Lodge for second breakfast, a perfect omelette and potato fry up. So very satisfying to have real food and coffee.

A quick Uber to Ashland and I feel like I’m on holiday with two days of no hiking to look forward to.

Laundry done. I love warning number one on the laundromat dryer.

It is so thick with smoke in town. The department of health has issued smoke advisories for Medford and surrounds which includes Ashland, not to go outside and avoid strenuous activities. It is difficult to see much beyond half a mile through the haze. Lots of people getting around with masks on.

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