Alex Hole Spring(1680.7) to Stealthsite(1710.8) 30.1 Miles
California total up/down: +310,474/-307,323 feet
I was so excited when I woke up this morning. I was still really tired, but I managed to drag myself out of my sleeping bag with relative ease. Today was the day that I could finally breakup with California. I've wanted to breakup with her for weeks now. I have tried my hardest to find it in myself to do. Each and every day I've gotten closer to this moment. I knew that with three hard hours of effort I could put her behind me forever. Yesterday she tried to break me, but I stood fast and remained focused on my goal. I only had eight and a half miles to hike today until I could say goodbye. This morning she put on her best dress(nice views and easy terrain) and tried to tempt me into staying.
I hiked as hard and as fast as my weary body would allow. Since leaving Tahoe, 25 days ago, I've hiked almost 600 miles without a single nero or zero day. I have averaged almost twenty four miles per day. I did this so that I could finally finish California. After hiking this many miles on the AT I had finished 11 of 14 states. California is crazy long! I practically sprinted the last tenth of a mile. When I made it to the border I was greeted by another group of hikers. They began clapping and cheering. It was a very satisfying moment. I will always be fond of my time with California. We had some great times together. I just wish The Golden State had more water and less sun. I'm not sure why they call Florida the Sunshine state. California definitely has more sun. In 107 days I only had to deal with rain three times. I never had to hike in it though.
I took a very long break at the border to savor the moment. I also learned that marijuana is legal in Oregon and Washington. All of the SOBO's were lighting up and enjoying their edibles at the border crossing. I signed the trail register and left a quote. I have been saving this one(used below) for just this occasion. The only thing I was missing was, The Wolf Pack. It was bittersweet celebrating by myself. I'll just have to photoshop everyone into my picture. I couldn't have made it this far without them. Hey U-Turn, Evac, Outro, Sprinkles, and Homegrown, can you pick up the pace a little? It is lonely out in the front.
I am excited to find out what the Beaver State has in store for me(also known as the Sunset State). The general consensus is that you can fly through Oregon. People say that it is flat. I don't believe it. People also said Virginia was flat. Those people are dirty rotten liars, by the way. I am tempted to fly through Oregon, but I think it is going to be too beautiful to do that. I'll be in Crater Lake National Park in four days. I plan on taking my time and enjoying myself there. So far Oregon seems a lot like Northern California. I can't wait to put some distance from Cali, so I can start to see the change in terrain.
I hiked for another eleven miles before hitting another milestone, 1,700 miles! I was hoping to make the sign, but since there were already three different ones I didn't feel the need to add one more.
I actually like the first one the best. Lately all of the markers have been set in stone. It was nice to see a simple small stick marker.
I only had ten more miles to go from here, but I was tired and my adrenaline was starting to fade. I had a few places that I could camp at before there, but at ten miles there was potable water and a picnic table. I will practically kill myself to have a picnic table at the end of the day. It is a million times easier and more comfortable to cook and eat at a picnic table. I was seriously considering stopping with six miles to go, when I came across a nice shaded campsite at the top of a hill. I noticed a glint of metal as I was hiking up. It was a camp chair. Next to the chair were two coolers full of soda. Welcome to Oregon!!! Trail magic! I was so excited. After being in Oregon for only fifteen miles I got an ice cold coke. I decided to take it with me instead of drinking it there. I made it the other six miles without incident. The water faucet and picnic table were exactly where they were supposed to be. The only problem was they were supposed to be at a ski lodge that was out of business. The ski lodge had been sold and is now a private residence. I wasn't sure if the owners would be terribly excited for me to camp on their property. I decided to set up camp in full view of the house. I didn't want to be sneaky about it. I wanted to give them every opportunity to come out and tell me to go. I did not want to be discovered late at night and then asked to leave. I guess if they saw me they didn't mind. Nobody came out to talk to me at all. I sat at the picnic table and enjoyed my coke with a Mountain House meal. It was a great day. A new state, 1,700 miles, and a Coke with my dinner.
"Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind."
- Bruce Lee