1707.0 to Ashland, OR(1707.0 to 1715.2)
Daily miles: 8.2
I leave my bed next to the giants and walk up the slope, back to the trail. The rain in the valley (it’s called the Rogue Valley, such great names for places out here in the west) is gone, and I’m cruising downhill to the highway where I’ll hitch in to Ashland. It’s the first, and pretty much only town stop in Oregon.
On the way I run in to Coppertone again, by himself, reading on his little tablet. Since its just me and him this morning I sit for a while and we talk. He offers me a banana and maple glazed cinnamon roll, which I accept. He’s not sure where his next stop will be on the trail, and tells me this might be his last location. He’s going up to visit a friend, and has no plans after that. Coppertone doesn’t make long term plans, or at least that’s the way it seems to me. I like that about him. So I give him a donation for all he’s done for me, snap a picture, and tell him I’ll see him down the trail. Then I walk off. I hope we meet again.
I get to the highway on-ramp by late morning, stick out my thumb, and have a ride in less than 5 minutes. My ride drops me off at the local grocery store and I wander around for a while. I’m walking this hobo trail around the backs and sides of the shopping centers when I walk past an old hippy, stoned and still smoking. He offers me his cigarette and I decline, but we talk for a while. Or rather, he talks to me about the best kind of marijuana to smoke. Yep, I’m I’m Oregon…
I’m taking tomorrow off for a rest day and will get back to trail on the 8th, after many calories have been consumed. I wish I could see more of Ashland, but it’s a bigger town (meaning spread out) and I have neither a way of getting around nor a desire to walk miles and miles on my zero day. So I plan on listening to podcasts and maybe binge watching the newest Game of Thrones season. Perfect break from the trail!