Skip and Flip

Zero days in Ashland, but little rest as we caught up on town chores from the past 4 months, resupplied, fixed equipment and planned.

But we also got in a brilliant show in Antony and Cleopatra at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, had 2-hour deep tissue massages to try and undo 1,700+ miles of abuse and had a get-together with local and trail friends.

Day 129, 130, 131 – 0 / 1,717

Now for the next phase of our hike – we skipped Oregon.

Skipped as in caught a ride from Ashland, the southernmost Oregon town nearest the PCT, to Cascade Locks, the northernmost Oregon town on the PCT.

We started bouncing around this plan about a month ago, then settled on it while I had my feet up in Burney.

The biggest reason for the change was the realization back then that if we were to finish the trail by the end of September, we would have to hike 22-mile days every day, without breaks, until we reached Canada.

Resupply days wouldn’t be exempt.  If we took six hours off trail to resupply, we would still have to get our 22 miles in, meaning a late night hike.  Then we would have to wake up at our normal time and get another 22 in.

If you’ll recall our Etna resupply day, even though we had a dedicated driver to pick us up at the trailhead and return us, we were still only able to get in 14 miles that day.  If we had to hitch in and out, we wouldn’t have got so many miles in.

If we want to take two days off during the rest of the hike, we would have to do 23’s every day.

That sounded too much like work.  We have watched too many hikers get themselves into that situation and they are mostly off trail.

So we have skipped Oregon.  We will push north through Washington and into Canada.  We should be done with Washington by mid-September, hopefully before any snow falls.

Once done with that section, we will return to Cascade Locks and start hiking southbound back to Ashland, completing the loop and the PCT.  That is the flip.

Of course, all of this is contingent on fire closures.  Right now there are stretches of the PCT in Washington that are closed due to fire and other sections, including the northern terminus at the Canadian border, that are highly recommended to not traverse as the smoke is so thick that it would be dangerous and unhealthy hiking.

But those sections are weeks away for us right now.

So here we go, enjoying the beauty of the Cascades of Washington, then Oregon in early autumn.

Are you ready? We are.

Day 132 – 0 / 1,717

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