Date: August 18, 2017
Miles: 14.8 miles (23.8km), from mile 1,701.4 to mile 1,716.2.
Health: Happy to get to town.
My alarm goes off and I feel slightly better about waking up than the previous few mornings. I have all my gear packed and ready in record time and after filling my bottles from the spring I’m back on the trail. The other people are still sound asleep.
The views are nothing special but I make quick miles. At one point I notice I have cell reception and as it’s still early evening in Finland I call my brother. We talk for a while about his coming wedding and everything going on back home.
I’m going to miss his wedding as they had to change the dates from autumn to summer and I was already on my way to the trail at that point. Flying back home for a weekend would pretty much mean I’d have to quit the trail. The price of the flights, the time it would take and the approaching winter, and the logistics of getting off and back on the trail would mean my hike would be over. As much as it sucks to miss my brother's wedding, we’ve agreed to have a new celebration once I get back home.
I must be getting closer to town as I see a group of kids trail running along the trail. I step aside to let them pass. I reach a small dirt road and their teacher hands me some watermelon and juice while I walk by.
After a small climb, I reach a small pass and find two coolers with trail magic. They’re almost empty but there’s one Diet Shasta Cola left and I drink it happily.
After the trail magic, the trail starts to drop down for quite a long time. After endless switchbacks and crossing a road multiple times, I finally reach the trailhead, throw out my thumb and get a ride instantly. Not knowing where to go I just ask for a ride to Ashland.
After getting dropped off at a small mall with a Subway I message everyone with my location but it seems everyone’s so spread out that organizing anything is going to be hard. Sam sends me a message that he’ll come to the same mall and we soon meet up. We do a quick resupply for the next section and prepare one resupply package to be shipped to Mazama Village at Crater Lake.
Sam’s family friend lives in Ashland and they’ve promised to take us in. We soon meet Rick at the parking lot and he takes us to the Post Office so we can ship our resupply packages forward. I also check for my other packages but only one of three has arrived. One of the missing packages has all my rain gear and thermals in it. Not good. I can’t find the tracking number for the missing packages so there’s not much we can do.
We take a short drive to Rick’s house. He lives in a really nice place overlooking a beautiful valley with mountains on the opposite side.
Sue, Rick’s wife, gives us clean loaner clothes so we can put all our dirty ones in the laundry and then we take long showers. Feels great to finally be clean again. We eat some awesome food and have a few drinks. We sit outside with Sam for a while, looking at the dark night sky, and then head to sleep.