Day 106 – Klum Creek to Fish Lake – 36km

Another state another volcano. We are getting excited for the lands that lie ahead although this morning I left camp in a bit of a solitary mood. We have been hiking in time with Strawberry Pop, Queso, Splint and Amethyst. We shared last nights fire and chats and were both thinking of hiking 22 miles to Fish Lake Resort today. 
After breakfast we head out of camp. I find a ballpoint pen on the trail and am totally amused because I lost the one Quiz uses to write letters. The trail provides. The profile for today looks easy, however we are all having muscular foot pain from our 5 day break. It’s 4 miles to water where we have our first break. On the way I see a coyote. It was running down the path toward me and then we both saw each other at the same time and kinda double took and then the coyote made for the forest. I wasn’t listening to music today and hiking really quietly and saw more wildlife than previous days. 
After our break we finish the last two miles of the gradual climb. And 6 miles to lunch I was out in front and caught up to Amethyst. We chatted about the music we make and time flew till lunch time. We had mentioned going to the South Brown Mtn Shelter for lunch, 100m off trail. I ate lunch there but Mushy and Quiz never showed up. Turns out we had said meet at the water for lunch. Where I soon found the other two, lunching. 

We all agreed it was a sore foot day and hit the afternoon trail tenderly. After 5 miles the landscape had changed drastically. We had been walking in lush, thick pine forest for nearly two days and now we realised we must be walking round the side of an volcano. The landscape was portioned into meadows full of solid lava flows. The magma had flown down and frozen in the most mesmerising patterns like an ocean with waves and swells. It had it all. We all feel pretty great physically apart from our feet which are in agony. The paths through the old lava flows are rocky and full of pumice stone, which you can feel straight through to the souls of your feet. This made the last 7 miles of the day a little gruelling but full of great views of up coming volcanos and interesting rock formations. 

We made it to Highway 140 by 6:15pm. It’s two miles road walk to Fish Lake. But none of us have two miles in us. We stick our thumbs out and 5 minutes later get a ride. He said we didn’t look like regular hitch hikers. Which made sense as I was wearing real tree camo. He then professed that he loved hunting and i though maybe it was the real tree that had won him over. 

We have quick dinner at the cafe and then head over to the PCT camping spot. The crew are there from this morning and we all chat and laugh around the fire. Exhausting day! 


NOBO Day 106

We had one of those days. One of those days where you spend the entire day running around, or at least it felt like it. Ollie woke us up at 8 am, brewed coffee and began preparing his list of resupply places and addresses. Frenchie and I chilled a little more and eventually we hitched a ride with a lady, Marcy to the cart n mart (or something like that). It’s a cheaper and more widely stocked version of the Ashland Co-op but is much further from the town centre. I did resupply up until Bend (3 food parcels including the next 4 days), Ollie has resupplied up to Washington (6 resupply). Eventually arms laden with groceries, all of the non perishable variety we waddled out to the car park. I, the opportunist chatted up a lady who would have given us a lift had she not been working, and vaguely stuck my thumbs out. Ollie, arms breaking under the weight of 3 shopping bags, one of them torn, was focussed on catching the bus. We went a very long way to get to the bus station, and then I continued to be ever hopeful, much to Ollie’s annoyance for a hitch. He remained grumpy at me for a good portion of the day and silently spent that portion organising his resupply. I had mine done quickly and hung around the motel surfing Instagram etc etc. Ollie finally sorted his food, it had taken him 3 hours. He was pretty stressed. He has sent parcels because resupply through Oregon isn’t very reliable. We got a lift from the motel manager to the post office, made up, posted our stuff and had a giggle. Wandering the streets of Ashland I picked up some new darn tough socks and Ollie replaced his hat. He left the last one in Etna. We caught the bus to the UPS office to send a final resupply, caught the bus back to the motel then caught it again to our trail angels house. We didn’t arrive until almost 7. I made us salad and we are resting up ready to leave early tomorrow morning. 

Day 105 – Spring at 1725.6 to Klum Landing Campsite, 36kms

Considering our legs are feeling it as we’re just out of 5 days off, today we crushed it! Thanks Oregon for cruisey trails. We also got chaffed to bits, and not just me (Quiz) alone, although we all got it in our own unique ways. That’s because we spent most of the day, from 9am on swimming in our own sweat, it was dripping down our legs and pooling on our backs to the point where I checked my water bottle wasn’t leaking the bottom of my pack was so wet!

Like creatures of habit we walked 2 miles before settling in to drink coffee and eat breakfast. The Oregon forest has dried out considerably since we were last here 5 weeks ago and there are literally cracks in the trail. We stopped at our last water for 13 miles as the next 2 streams are now just puddles according to Guthooks, and filled up from a pristine looking piped Spring that flowed into a very dirty and algae filled lake. Coffee tasted delicious!


We hiked on and completed a huge U shape around the southern end of the valley Ashland sits in. We got excellent views of the town as well as Mt Ashland and Pilot Rock from yesterday. The trail was nicely undulating along the top of a ridge in and out of pine forest and grassy Meadows. We can hike fast in such nice terrain and travelled steadily at 3mph. Unlike NoCal, there seem to be less hikers up here and we didn’t see many people except a few day hikers all morning. 



We stopped at the Little Hyatt Reservior Overflow for lunch and it was really flowing. We all commented about missing the sound of flowing water, as we were sitting by a sizeable creek fed by a waterfall it was really loud. 2 section hikers I had met earlier arrived with there dog Charlie who entertained us while we were packing up with his water antics/appreciation.

The afternoon was hot and our feet really started to hurt. We saw a few deer but apart from that it seemed even the birds knew to stay in the shade and conserve energy. 4 miles later found us all sprawled by the side of the trail in dense shade, shoes off and feet raised in the air. Moving started to be accompanied with groans, sometimes it just makes it easier if you can vocalise your pain a bit. 

It’s so dwy!

We hobbled the last 5 miles into camp with a bunch of new hiking pals, Amathest, Strawberry Pop and 2 others. It was worth it as the campground has free hot showers and is by a lake. Washing off all that sweat was really nice. It also had picnic tables so we all chatted late while we cooked dinner and watched an excellent sunset. There are clouds in the sky for the first time in many days and rain and thunder pushed us into our tents and bed. Once again everything feels a bit out of whack after flipping yet again, but already we are meeting new excellent people and walking the miles. Cheers to you PCT, love you xx

Camp dawgs

Satanic sunset

NOBO Day 105 m to Callahans/Ashland 13 kms

Wake up, pack up tent, put things in pack, put pack on, walk. Morning routine is same, same but different every day expect today we woke up in Oregon, and by breakfast would be in Ashland and ready for a half day off. 

We walked through some pretty parts and then hit the part of the trail where it follows the highway. We watched the sun rise over Mt Shasta, and storm clouds thundered in the distance. The colours on the horizon were a pastel palette. We listened to some music (R Kelly, and Blink 182, who else!) we could play using internet connection and hummed along the trail. The trail to Callahans Resort was sketchy and unclear, we crossed a train tracks and a highway intersection. It was a maze of roads leading every which was. Hungry and ready for coffee we breakfasted at Callahans. It was expensive, and the servings weren’t very big but sitting out in the porch with little humming birds coming in for sugar water was lovely.

Afterward we took roadside and eventually got a hitch off another hikers boyfriend who had come to visit her from Portland. I booked a motel way too out of town so we cancelled that and are staying at the Manor Motel. 

It’s very cute and we got an upgrade with a kitchen. Our friends Neck Tie and Frenchie have come over also. I bought supplies to cook a veggie filled dinner and we ate setting off for to go to the movies in a short while!

SOBO Flip #3 Day 100, 101, 102, 103 & 104 – Belden, Chico, Ashland 16km

Pinecone here! Or now ‘Turkey D’ second trail name after finding a Turkish delight coloured pinecone! 5 zero days has felt like a lifetime! It began next to the giant Feather River in Belden. Camping on its sandy shores, we packed our stuff and went to the shoppe for coffee. After crafting some pretty good hitch hiking signs we headed to the highway to start thumbing it. It took some goofy waves and grinning but after an hour we got a hitch! It was a 90 mile drive to Chico from Belden in which Mitch told me his life story. Growing up in Salt Lake City, mining for copper and moving to California after the death of his brother. We shared some drunk memories together and had a laugh. He kindly dropped us off at the greyhound station in Chico from where we made plans. 

Hotdogs 4 Chico

Hitching with Mitch

Quiz trying to nap in the back

A bus was not going to Ashland till the next day, so we find a cheap motel and settle in for the night. This one was defintely too good to be true, free breakfast and pool for $60.

Chillin in Chico was funny, being a collage town there are lots of young people around, however it is summer and it did have a strange sleepy vibe. Quiz learnt what good American collage culture is about from Mushy. The next morning we head to the bus stop. After confusion with the driver, we are piled into the bus with our hiking packs. It was a bit of a stressful 6 hour journey with ice axes and hiking poles on board. 

Chico pool beers

Mushy and Quiz are your new sorority girls.

At Red Bluff I recognised a hiker from the trail and he sits next to me. His name is Phone Belly, because he always keeps his oversized phone in his front pocket. He’s from Washington and gives us lots of tips for the trail up ahead. We get off the bus at Medford, a more industrial town, 15 miles past Ashland. Our plan is to stay here a night and go to Walmart and do all our shopping for re-supply for Oregon. The next day is pretty hot and arduous from carting shopping bags around, to the post office and to UPS. We get really good tacos from a food truck and eat them in the park and wait for the free bus to Ashland. 

Oregon re-supply at Walmart

Tacos in the park

Our three days in Ashland mostly revolve around the Jackson Wellsprings we were staying at. I can best describe this place as a kind of trailer park resort for hippies with a rather lush volcano water pool, spa and sauna. Even the showers are volcano water, smelling of Sulphur but leaving your skin soft and hydrated. 

G’n’ts at the spring

Wellsprings pool

Over the days we were welcomed into the community there and spoke to many enlightened hippies. After 8pm the pool became a nude pool and a man helped me to learn how to beat box by saying all I needed to do was say ‘boots’n’cats’ over again. I think the funniest moment for me was leaving the spa to go back to the camp ground and this old hippie watering the garden stopped me for a chat. ‘Are you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated?’ He asked. ‘Yes, thank you for having us!’ I replied. ‘ Our pleasure’ he said. ‘Has anyone told you that you are beautiful today?’ I blushed a little and replied ‘No, no one has told me today’. He sighed and said ‘Well that’s just a problem right there’.

We found ourselves checking out Ashland downtown. It’s was hustle and bustle with the Shakespeare festival on. We had some nice food from a bakery, checked out the local co-op.

I often found myself laughing and completely amazed at the stereotype or unconditional positivity (people singing/over hearing conversations) of the place, despite the fact that I was really in the perfect place to hang out. On our way out ppl who we hadn’t even spoken to wished us well on our hike. We made friends with a lovely person who I named Monique (she didn’t tell us her real name, just whatever we wanted to call her). Monique ended up finding my wallet, which I then went to collect from the front desk. Everyone in the office gave me a high five for the universe, being a great place after all! I tried to give Monique some money, I knew she could use it on her travels. She was very uncomfortable about it, so ended up giving me some cool rocks, damiana (a herb for female strength and fertility), and a massage. 

After our second free beer at Callahans

Wow what a couple of days, I feel so relaxed and rejuvenated just as the old man said. Not one thing to feel anxious about! Also Quiz and I now have tickets for Columbia!! At 4pm we head of Callahans Lodge and walk the PCT north for the first time in a month. Back in Oregon, feels good!! We walk 10 miles without even noticing and camp at a piped spring. It’s been a great 5 days off! 

Pilot Rock

NOBO Day 104 m 1684.7 to m 1707.3 – 36 kms

Token boarder crossing shot

Wildflowers, wildflowers, wildflowers rule my world. Today has been really great! Firstly we crossed the border into Oregon! Secondly, there was an abundance of wildflowers like never before (details to come). Thirdly, I experienced hardly any foot pain. Ollie on the other hand is hurting quite a lot and we cut our day a few miles short and will Nero in Ashland tomorrow to try and help him recover. 

Morning meadow

Today was beautiful. Truly for the first time I felt in love with this landscape. In the morning we walked out of a pine forest and into a small valley. Long grass filled the meadow, morning light reflected off the the yellow stalks and the sun hid like a shy child behind the pines. Two deer crossed further up the hill and small wildflowers spread out among the grass. We walked for another 4.5 miles after the boarder crossing and did a total of 9 miles before breakfast. 

Crossing into Oregon celebrations

At breakfast we met Rocky, he is doing a section of trail SOBO and had freight train hopped his way across the country. On the journey he burnt his back sitting in the sun for hours and was taking a zero to allow it to heal. I have him some aloe vera I had, he made me an aero press coffee and we chatted trail with him while we ate. It was a long break and we took off mid morning. 

Bear Paws!

As we followed the ridge around these incredible flowers, maybe called bear something’s lined the trail. They look as if they belong under water, on another planet, or as lighting in a fancy restaurant. They make me happy. Fields of them grew along the trail, at one point they were so high they reached over our waists and hundreds of large drangon flys circled above us. It was very cool. 

The pines were all Dr Seaus like, hairy and fluffy, animated in their formation. We wove around the ridge in and out of pines and through fields of flowers. Sometimes all the one species, sometimes the landscape awash with all kinds of species blanketing the ground. Sometimes they are very low lying almost scraping themselves along he soil and other times we walked through corridors of lushness. I’ve been talking about this for days, but it never seems to grow old. We could see Mt Shasta still, not clearly, there is lots of haze. Toward the end of the day we came across some trail magic. Warm, diet sodas and some plastic chairs to enjoy the view. There was quite a bit of water and lots of camp sites to choose from. I am relieved to be once again feeling happy on trail and that my feet are sorting themselves out. 

Trail magic rest spot

There are lots of tiny streams crossing the trail, we filtered water and walked another 1.3 miles to a make shift tent site in the pines. Ollie made a fire and we are now in bed. The wind has picked up and there is lightening in the distance.

Enjoying the vista, note the phallic cloud

Filtering water among wildflowers

NOBO Day 103 mile to mile 1684.7 (a spring)

I watched the others leave this morning, all 12 of them pack away their things and hike out. I wanted to be walking with the pack and was sad to see their smiling faces leave. I made coffee, caught up on some writing, warmed my coffee up, ate a bar and then Ollie arrived. Hot, tired and aching. He had walked till 9 last night, slept under the Milky Way, enjoyed some solo time and completed the climb this morning. While he ate breakfast I packed my things. Ollie and I are coming toward the end of our time hiking together. I’m leaving trail for a bit in mid August, and his father is coming to do some miles with him soon enough. The trail gifts you people and then you move on, maybe to be solo or maybe to find new friends. Harriet and Phoebe are leaving to hike out from Ashland today so hopefully we catch them soonish. 

We hiked for 9.4 miles through pretty landscapes, stopping briefly in a shaded camp spot. More pines and sloping meadows of wildflowers. At our destined lunch spot we couldn’t find the water source listed on Guthooks. Mud Spring doesn’t exist. We searched for quite some time and eventually and disappointedly walked on another 3 miles before we could truly take a break. Ollie was exhausted. It was mid afternoon, and we look a long break until I ventured off at 5.30 to do the final 4 miles. Again it was pretty, the range led us round so we could see mt Shasta again. There is a fire nearby and it was quite hazey as a result. As I walked along the evening shadows cast themselves across a Meadow covered in yellow wildflowers, the grass and soil underneath where orange and green, the horizon pink and blue. It was so beautiful and magic I perched myself on a rock and took some time to contemplate things and wonder why I’ve been feeling a bit bummed on the trail. Ollie turned up and together we opened our shakras to Mt Shasta, and laughed until tears streamed down my face. I can feel my spirits lifting as walking becomes pain free once again.