Day 79 & 80: The Promised Land

Mile reached: 1718.1 (+21.0)

High: There were beautiful views from the ridges around Mount Ashland.

Low: I didn’t see “Poseidon” in town as I had expected.

Because I had hardly slept the night before, I wasn’t in any rush to get going in the morning. Though as a thru-hiker it’s hard to sleep past 7 am and I was on the trail around 8.

Due to both the weekend and Mount Ashland being popular, there were numerous people out and about. In particular, there were scores of trail runners. I even managed to catch one going my direction. The upside of lots of people is that there is often trail magic. Sure enough, I found two coolers full of soda and enjoyed one while I continued hiking.

Morning view down to Medford
No soda for section hikers

Around lunchtime, I made a detour up to the summit of Mount Ashland. Surprise, surprise, it’s a P2k and had commanding views of the valleys on either side of Siskiyou Summit. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a trail descending the east side, so I traveled cross country. Other than some light scrambling it was pretty mellow. It was actually more challenging returning to the trail from the highway, because the grass and flowers were so tall.

Mount Ashland
The whole range felt so tranquil.
The east ridge of Mount Ashland

Once back on trail, it was a gentle descent down to I-5. My only complaint was that it was quite warm at lower elevations. As luck would have it, I quickly caught a hitch into town from the freeway on-ramp.

The trail actually crosses someone’s driveway.
Does the fact that it’s a totem pole mean that I might get cursed of I trespass?

I spent the afternoon taking care of some chores and eating gas station food. Based on the recommendation of the local that gave me a ride, I visited a nearby brewery that had decent beer but great food. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t hear back from “Poseidon”, who said he would be staying in town.

The following day was the first zero I’d had since VVR, which was 800 miles ago. Originally, I thought I was going to do a whole bunch in town, but with “Poseidon” missing I decided to take an extremely lazy day. Though, I was a bit anxious that I wasn’t on trail, because the weather looked so good. It was sightly stormy, and temperatures were well below the recent average. Regardless, I had a good day.

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