August 7, 2015
0 miles today
1766.8 miles total
Today’s Elevation Gain/Loss: + 0 ft, – 0 ft
This morning was the highlight of today’s zero. We took our time packing up and getting ready, but once the lodge opened back up, we were seated inside sipping delicious coffee and socializing with our fellow hikers as they slowly trickled in. By the time plates of bacon, eggs, and pancakes were being brought out, we had pulled two large tables together and a group of about 15 of us PCT hikers were all telling stories, laughing, and delighting in one another’s company and the approaching pancakes. Pickles and I felt surrounded by so many lovely humans and it was so refreshing to get to take our time and not rush out onto the trail.
After we had all eaten our share of food, we began splitting up into groups so that we could either get into Ashland or, for some, get back on trail. Pickles and I had met a nice trail angel named Gary yesterday when he was dropping hikers back at the lodge, and he had given us his number and told us to call if we needed a ride. We gave him a ring, and he headed over without hesitation. He even let 5 of us pile in, took us all the way to the gear shop downtown, and returned a second time to Callahan’s to pick up a second group. He made our day with his generosity and is exactly what I think of when I think “trail angel”. He’s also just a cool guy and someone with whom we could see ourselves hanging out with if he ever moved to Tahoe and wanted to go skiing or mountain biking. Actually, there are a lot of people like that here in Ashland, which is probably why we feel so at home in this outdoorsy little college town.
We spent a lot of the afternoon hanging out downtown, shopping at the Ashland Outdoor Store and trying on shoes at Rogue Valley Running. I eventually decided that I am going to wait until Bend to replace my shoes (which is also where Pickles will replace his) since mine still don’t show much wear, but the shoe shopping experience was once again very educational.
By the time we had hitched back to the I-5 side of town, bought some groceries, and checked into our hotel room, it was already middle of the afternoon, and the day seemed far too short. We did make a little time for relaxation, but with wifi and 4G, it seems the To Do list is never-ending. I took off this evening to go watch a movie at the theatre while Pickles caught up with family, and then before we knew it, the day was over. We are actually so surprised by this fact that we are seriously considering taking a second zero tomorrow. The idea seems a little crazy on one hand, after all, we just got into Oregon and have spent more time not hiking than hiking, but we just don’t feel nearly as rested as we had hoped. We’ll do as we always do and discuss pros and cons and hopefully come up with a decision in the next hour or so. One thing’s for sure, if tomorrow is another zero, it will consist of nothing more than a lot of rest and relaxation.