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Posts Tagged ‘Cook and Green Pass’

I’m not dead, I swear!  Just haven’t had time to update, so here it comes!

Near Seiad Valley, three fires had sprouted.  Only one affected the PCT: the Fort Complex Fire (formerly the Goff Fire).  It burned on the steep 5,000 ft climb out of “town”, closing some fifteen miles of trail or so.  While we sorted food after waiting for the post office to open, super thick smoke settled down in the valley, irritating my eyes so much, I went and bought eye drops.

Bruce said the afternoon heat would bring the smoke back up high around 2pm or so and we’d have an easier time waiting until then to leave, so we stalled.  This fire still had a walkable detour option: walk down Seiad Creek Road (paved, for 3 or 4 miles) which turns into Forest Service rd 48N20 (maintained dirt road) until Cook and Green Pass where the PCT crosses it.  The detour was about 13 miles of shade, blackberries, and a creek running next to it.  It still climbed almost the same amount, however seemed easier than the trail would have been.

I decided to walk it, but most got a ride up that they yogi’ed from the store.  It wasn’t too bad and I got some great views of the smoke blocking out the sun.  At the pass, I camped with Sea Hag, Robo Knee, and Heisenberg.  Hop-a-long, Trooper, Inspector Gadget, Extra Credit, Cactus, Doe Eyes, and Scrub Rat found rides and passed me.  One guy driving up the road offered me a ride, but when I declined, he gave me a bottle of ice water.

Robo Knee and Sea Hag woke up at 5am and I got up too, scrambling around in the dark since I failed to locate my headlamp that I thought I had forgotten in Seiad Valley.  I caught up to Hop-a-long and Inspector Gadget at the first water source after passing Doe Eyes and Scrub Rat.  No one seemed to make it very far after the detour, probably because it shot up another 1400 feet immediately.

We cruised along the ridge, trying not to choke on the smoke wafting over the adjacent ridge.  The heat from it had kept me warm the previous night, but Hop-a-long said she could see the flames from on top of the climb when it got dark.

Eleven miles later, we hit the next water source which was a beautiful large flowing spring and I stopped for a quick lunch.  I had just missed Trooper, but caught Hop there again.  The trail just made lots of small bumps up and down in order to mostly stay on top of the ridge.

Then finally, the climb we’d all been waiting for came – the climb to Oregon.  Halfway up was the border, where I found Hop-a-long, Trooper, and Inspector Gadget.  The four of us celebrated at the border with wine, whiskey, and food.  We spent quite a long time there, ironically on the California side since it had the trail register and a log that sat somewhat in the shade.  I took various pictures attempting to get my amazing Teva sandals in the photos but ended up rolling over by accident because the border was on a slant.
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After our long break, we passed mile 1700 and headed on to Sheep Camp Spring which had a great pipe coming out full of water.  The “campsite” came complete with a resident deer which did not stop eating despite me setting up camp and getting water.  Soon, Gadget, Hop-a-long, and Trooper rolled in.
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Promptly, Trooper did a few more miles while we stayed there only to see Trip roll in right before we went to bed.  He had hitched up to Ashland to get a wisdom tooth removed that had suddenly caused him great amounts of unnecessary pain.
“Yeah, I went into the dentist and he said it was one of the easiest ones to pull out,” Trip said as he rolled a cigarette.
“Ya know,” Hop-a-long started, “you really shouldn’t be smoking after a wisdom tooth gets pulled, have you heard of dry sockets??”

“Eh, it’s fine.”
That night, I froze.  Luckily, I had a tent in Ashland, my next town stop.  I had no problem waking up at 5 am and leaving by 5:30, saving breakfast for an on-the-move slamming a bar.  The 23 miles into Ashland was actually pretty easy.  Annnnd, on the plus side, I could charge my iPod in town, so I jammed out to music the whole way.  12 miles out, I saw a trail runner heading toward me and I realized it was Ben who had given me, Creep and Twister a ride into Etna.  He asked when I would reach Callahan’s, and I said 2:30.  He said he would meet me there and give me a ride into town instead of hitching on the on ramp of the interstate.

The trail down to Callahan’s cruised right on down.  Callahan’s even made a side trail down to them where they had a carved wood sign advertizing one free beer.  I wanted beer super bad, so I followed the obnoxious green spray paint.  Scared by the horses which came out of no where, I found a way to get to the side of the trail while they passed, leaving fresh shit in the middle of the trail on the way.

Callahan’s had absolutely nothing going on, but I got a free Deschutes Porter anyway and bought Ben the trail runner a beer in order to see if Hop or Gadget would make it in for a ride.  They  didn’t, so I got a ride into the Post Office where I loaded all my food and tent into my pack and mailed back my tarp and other unnecessary items.

I waited until Hop-a-long, Gadget, and Trooper got there, and then we made moves toward the brewery in order to decide what to do.

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