BACK ON TRAIL
PCT DAY 106: Mile 1715 – Mile 1737.5
Thursday July 28, 2016: 22.5 miles (35.8 km)
DISPATCH FROM THE BIG AGNES HILTON
This morning I returned the rental car just outside of Ashland, on Highway 99. As I was leaving a deer came wandering through the adjacent car dealership. Not something I am used to seeing in a town by a busy road.
Once the car was returned I needed to get back to the trailhead which was about 16 miles away. I was a little apprehensive heading out without Corky. It felt strange, like I have forgotten to bring something really important. It will be strange having so much room in the Big Agnes Hilton. By the way, our Big Agnes Copper Spur tent is now brand new. Our old tent developed holes in the mesh within the first week of use. We contacted REI and they said to bring it in for replacement. Last weekend was our first opportunity to do so. And they replaced it, no questions asked. What a great company.
The rental car company provided me a ride to the freeway entrance and within 5 minutes I got a ride with Mark. He is a retired geological engineer and was heading out for a training hike. I hiked with Mark for the first few miles before he turned around to head back.
Most of todays hiking was through the forest. In the warmth of the day the forest had an earthy/leathery smell which on occasions was overpowered by the sweet smell of the wildflowers.
The day was very hot with temperatures in Ashland expected to crack 100 °F (38°C). This mornings hiking reminded me of driving in an air conditioned car but once in awhile being forced to cross the blazing hot car park to get to the air conditioned store. When not protected by the forest canopy it was very hot and felt very long. Entering the canopy of the forest was like entering a cool room at perfect temperature.
As the afternoon continued it cooled down and a lovely breeze sprung up. The afternoon passed quite quickly. I ended up walking part of the afternoon with Cornelius who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and did a large section of it with Napoleon, with whom we’ve hiked on the PCT. I am discovering that thru-hiking is a very small world. At times today I really struggled due to the heat, finding my hiking legs again, not sleeping so well in the motel and also missing Corky. I stopped about 7pm, which was an hour earlier than we usual. I camped at a small campsite about a mile out from the Hyatt Lake Resort. The Resort offers camping for the princely sum of $2 and you can also buy a hamburger and a beer. Being that I have just got back on the trail, sleeping in the new tent without others camped nearby, had greater appeal.
CORKY – FROM THE RECOVERY LOUNGE
Today is the beginning of week 2 of being non- weight bearing on the injured ankle. Swelling is almost all gone and I have started passive flexibility exercises to assist tendon and ligament healing in the correct alignment. The orthopeadic specialist stressed doing every activity only up to a normal persons pain threshold. Not sure what I was to make of this?