Goodbye Columbus

The walk is going well. I am feeling good and strong. My body is doing well. I have stopped shedding pounds since 40 or so fell off. I think I may have even gained a little bit back. My shoulders are a little achy and my feet are contemplating revolution, but other than that – I am tip top.

That pic was taken after a long awaited reunion with the PCT. On august 1, I hit route 3 south of Etna. Firefighters were staged at the trail head at the road crossing. These folks talked with me a while and highly recommended that I not proceed on the trail but road walk to Etna and talk to the next firefighter team there. I met a local fella, Brian – and his dog Thor, in Etna and camped with them over the weekend waiting for the post office and to see what the fires would do.

I looked at maps with Brian and some other relief workers and a long stretch of road walking ensued. The pros told me to stay off the trail until Ashland, OR. In order to stay off of Interstate 5, I walked on rural highways and dirt roads. I slept in the bleachers of a youth baseball field in Fort Jones. I got water from a church sprinkler at 10 pm in a small town called Hilt. I was occasionally thwarted by barbed wire and dangerous looking no trespassing signage featuring references to guns, dogs, video cameras, and prosecution.

I met John Mullin at the church in Hilt and we looked at the maps together also. He helped me avoid an area i planned to walk through that was no longer open road but private property, driveways, and lawns. This last unexpected detour led through some rolling hills and just across the line in Oregon, I found a beautiful Tibetan Buddhist temple.

The adventures of the past week will stay with me, but I must admit that I am very pleased to be back on trail. Road walking g should be faster, but I covered less miles off trail. Not knowing a precise route, not knowing the mileages, not knowing the elevation changes, not knowing where the water sources might be or where to camp or use the bathroom – it was stressful… and beautiful…


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