a journey of 2,652 miles
THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL 2018
starts with a single step.
Miles 1665.9 to 1692.0. Kangaroo Spring to tentside by a dirt road.
Today we could finally leave California and enter Oregon. After over 3 months California will be in the past. We have been more and more looking forward to crossing the border in the last few days. But that would mean a 26 mile hike today, which would be our new record.
To accomplish this, we start early today. The whole smoke situation is finally way better today. On our first uphill climb, we can even see Mount Shasta in the distance, clearly and majestically!
After 1.5 hours we reach a dirt road where we saw on our hiking app that there is a spring right next to it. As we arrive, we realize we are not the only ones here. There is also Aardvark, a 20ish year old girl from Chicago and Switchbacks, a cool guy from Israel, who have been cowboy camping next to the dirt road. We talk a bit with these guys and then quickly fill up our bottles at the spring. When we come back, there is also Sababa again, sitting with the others.
From the road it is now a fairly steep climb for the next 3 or 4 miles all the way up. California is testing us the last time before it lets us leave! But the climbing isn’t as terrible as the day before and soon it is over.
For lunch we found a spot on Guthooks, our hiking app, where there supposedly should be cell reception. And indeed, there is cell reception and furthermore about 1 million wasps, which is really annoying. After a while Sababa joins us here and gets his share of the wasp invasion.
The afternoon is more or less a race towards Oregon. We keep on leapfrogging with Sababa, Switchback and Aardvark, always have a little chat and then continue racing to the Oregon border.
We start counting down the remaining miles... Only 5 more miles now! The first three are steeply down all the way. But we are starting to feel tired by now.
„How far is it still?“, Maya keeps asking. 3 more miles, one down, 2 up. It is now 6.30 pm and it is getting closer to sunset. Ok, we are at the lowest point now. Only 2 more miles up.
There are now several small signs at the trees where people have been writing sayings on them. „Almost in freaking Oregon!“, „Close to leaving Northern California“, „Only 1 mile!“.
Oh yes, only 1 mile. But here we have to fill our water bottles for the last time in California so we have enough water for tomorrow. The plan is to sleep right after the border, only 0.3 miles away there is a nice spot according to Guthooks.
Only 0.5 miles left. It gets steeper and darker very quickly by now. I am completely drenched in sweat but keep on hiking faster and faster. 0.2 miles, 0.1... There!! We see it! And Aardvark next to the tree with the border sign. Five more meeeeeters... Done!
We all hug each other firmly, sipping Aardvark’s whiskey and start writing in the provided trail register next to the border when first Switchback arrives, followed by Sababa only a couple of minutes later.
Maya and I take some pictures together then some group pictures with our friends.
After all is done we hike the remaining 0.3 miles up to our campsite, pitch our tent and have dinner together with Sababa and Aardvark. First night in Oregon, finally we are here! Oregon - it is going to be great!