Dawn Patrol and myself made it to Ashland, OR yesterday! Northern California has been quite spectacular as we hiked from Belden up through Lassen National Park, Burney Falls, Castle Crags, Trinity Alps, the Russian Wilderness, and the Klamath National Forrest to get to the Oregon border.
Ashland is flooded with PCT hikers now as folks still in northern California are hitching north to get around the forest fires near Hat Creek, Burney Falls, and Etna. We’re feeling lucky we were able to hike straight through the entire trail in Nor-Cal as lightning was starting fires all around us as we hiked near Etna and Seiad Valley. It was quite exciting hiking in the Russian Wilderness as hotshots were jumping from planes in the distance and smoke started filling the valleys.
We finally saw a bear! Actually, we saw 3. A momma and cub were hanging out at a watering hole and then we had a little standoff with another bear that didn’t want to get off the trail ahead of us. There was five of us grouped up yelling as loud as we could and the bear just sat there looking slightly irritated at us. Dawn Patrol saved the day by starting to blow her whistle and the bear got up and walked away allowing us to pass. We were stoked afterwards about our encounter.
Today, we’re headed north towards Crater Lake and excited for what Oregon has in store for us.