Marathons and More

Early on in our blogging of this hike, a comment was made that most thru-hiker blogs wane rapidly once the hiker reaches northern California or end entirely by the time they reach Oregon.

I thought it was an odd idea, mainly because this blog is almost 10 years old and I have been consistent throughout that time.

But then again, I haven’t tried blogging while walking a marathon a day or putting in a marathon effort every day.

I get it now.

After a full day of hiking, we get camp set up, we eat, I enter the hiking day, miles and cumulative mileage and am usually asleep within minutes.

The next day?  Rinse. Repeat.

The ultra-marathon hike into Seiad Valley wasn’t any different.

We spent the day traversing the burn area of last year’s massive Happy Camp fire.  It appears that the area is rebounding nicely.

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In the closing miles, a nice surprise on the side of the road.

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“Only 999 (miles) to Canada”.  That put a bit of spring into our step as we strolled into Seiad Valley for a resupply, shower and laundry.

Day 125 – 27 / 1,653

The next morning we adjusted our goal for the day to hoping for 20 miles, as right out of town we had a 5,000′ climb over the next 10 miles as the day heated up.

It turned out that the climb was going to take more out of us than we expected. It also turned out that we weren’t the only ones.

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We limped into camp earlier than we had in weeks and were both asleep before sunset.

Day 126 – 15 / 1,668

We woke up fresh and ready to roll, even through the 1,000′ climb right out of camp.

We had a huge carrot dangling in front of us – Oregon.  We were aiming to cross the state line before evening, then get a few more miles in, hoping to shorten our next day’s hike.  That day would have a bigger carrot for us – Ashland.

The miles rolled by and we met our goal just before 6pm.  After 1,689 miles, we were done with California!

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Our entry in the log book was simple – “Gee-SPOT and BABs started Bill & Jen’s Excellent Adventure on 4/12.

So long California. It’s time for us to part ways. We would say that it’s not you, but us, but that wouldn’t be true.  It is you!

p.s. See you in two months.  We want our car back.”

A few miles later we were hiking through familiar territory, the high mountain meadows of the Siskiyou Crest, a bit more than an hour drive from Ashland.

It would take almost a full day of hiking to get there.

Day 127 – 26 / 1,694

After a night of cowboy camping in familiar surroundings, we were up early and moving soon after sunrise into an area that even reminded us of early mornings in Bavaria, complete with cow bells.

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We moved quickly, eager to meet a friend at a trail shelter at the southwestern foot of Mount Ashland some 13 miles distant.  Even with a steep 1,000′ climb, we managed to get there and meet him by noon.

Surprisingly he wasn’t alone, bringing along one our other friends.  This wasn’t the first time she had surprised us on this hike, first hopping out of a car to greet us after we left Mount Lassen.

They surprised us with not only hugs, but a cooler full of cold sodas, fresh fruit and a large tray of 7-layer dip.  Heaven to a hiker.

They were having fun as trail angels, feeding hikers as they passed.

After a great visit, we had to get moving.  We had another 10 miles to go for the day to get us to the bottom of Mount Ashland. But before we left, we unloaded our packs of almost all but the essentials.  We were going to slack pack with a light load, then meet our friend at the bottom of the mountain, where we would catch a ride into Ashland.

It was in town where we would take a break and shift gears for the next phase of the hike.

Day 128 – 23 / 1,717

Please help us help the PCT Association as they work to protect and maintain this precious resource: http://tinyurl.com/le5cu9j

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