7/16/17 – Ashland

Day 84
Miles: 1,693.57 to 1,715.17

Total miles hiked: 1,131.30
The balls of my feet have been hurting lately as we started putting more miles in over a rocky terrain. Yesterday especially my feet were more tender than ever and so I woke up excited about walking to town today and taking a full zero day there, our first since Shasta.

Luckily the trail gave us a little bit of break too, for most of the 22 miles we walked today the path was soft dirt clear of rocks, and once in a while fallen pine needles made the cushioning ever better.

It’s really a good time to hike through south part of Oregon right now. The wildflowers displays are crazy, today we were treated to incredible amount of Bear Grass that lent the air a light honey scent.

The temperature was more pleasant also. We still hid in shade for our breaks but even hiking in the open areas could be done without sweating profusely. 

One of the main attractions of today was hiking by Mt. Ashland. The mountain overlooks many open meadows. It felt very relaxing to walk through them, even though it was Sunday and we had to share the miles with day hikers, runners, and horseback riders. We had some nice conversations with these people but after being on the trail with only a handful of other thru hikers, the hoards of people flooding the trail were just a little overwhelming. 

To get to Ashland, we had to take a side trail to Callahan’s Lodge and hitch from there. This trail was far from feet friendly and at the end I hobbled just as if I walked on rocks all day.

Our Ashland experience started with a quick hitch. The couple that stopped for us took us all the way to our hotel, and before they dropped us, they gave us a quick ride through the neighborhood to show us where the store and laundry mat was, and how to get to the city center. It was a very nice gesture, much appreciated.

After 22 miles hiked again today, we didn’t have energy to do much more than checking in, ordering pizza, and watching TV for the rest of the night. 
Many chores await tomorrow.