(Sorry for all the posts coming through at the same time!)
Day 109, 110, 111
Cost: $130 for 3 nights at Ashland motel (a room shared with KC & Dundee)
I forced myself to stay in bed until 8am, then jumped up and went downstairs to cook a breakfast of grilled mushrooms, scrambled eggs and triple cream cheese on a French baguette.
Check-out at the hostel was at 10am and the owners Annie and Syd very kindly offered KC and I a lift to the Ashland Motel which is about a mile and a half the other direction out of town. It was already very hot – there’s a heatwave happening right now with temperatures in the 100s F / 40s C.
We dropped off our packs at the Ashland motel (check-in wasn’t until 2pm), then I walked over to Mandy’s house – the creator of the Purple Rain Adventure skirt. We have been in contact since I bought one before starting the trail and I was looking forward to meeting her and buying a new black skirt to take home with me. She also has a new teal colour but my size wasn’t available so I bought a black skirt and will order the teal one online. This skirt is the best piece of clothing I own on the trail – I’ve worn it every single day for the past 109 days and it still looks brand new! The pockets are perfect and on the trail I carry my phone, a knife, lip balm, a packet of tissues, a ziplock for rubbish and a pack of chewing gum! If I need to charge my phone while I’m walking, my Anker E5 battery (the size of a brick!) also fits in the pocket!! Thanks Mandy for making such awesome hiking skirts!
After buying my new black skirt I headed over to the Blue Giraffe spa for a little bit of pampering. I had a massage, leg wax and nail polish change on my toes (so I don’t have to look at 10 black toe nails!)
After leaving the Blue Giraffe I found a thrift shop called Three Penny Mercantile where I bought a light summery dress for $14. I wore it out of the shop (it was so nice to change out of my hiking tshirt!) I then met KC and Tapatio at a cool little Mexican restaurant called Taqueria Picaro where I had a margarita and delicious burrito bowl and then KC and I made it just in time to the movies to see ‘Trainwreck’ which kinda was a trainwreck… We laughed more in the preview for a new movie called Sisters than the actual movie we were watching, but at least we were in the lovely AC while it was boiling hot outside.
After the movie I went to the outdoor shop and picked up my 5 parcels then carried them the mile and a half back to the Ashland motel. I decided that I was going to do all of my resupply shopping tonight and get it out of the way. I walked to a supermarket called Shop n Kart which is a cheaper supermarket but with a lot of organic food. I managed to get most of my resupply here except pasta sides, carnation breakfast mix and a few other things. It was 10:30pm when I was at the checkout and I knew there was an Albertsons supermarket across the other side of the street where I could get everything else so I asked the cashier if I could leave my shopping there while I dashed over to Albertsons which was closing at 11pm. He said yes. I made it to Albertsons 10 minutes before it closed and raced around like a mad woman. I got everything I needed and a very kind lady called Sue who worked there offered me a lift back to my hotel with all of my shopping (via the Shop n Kart to pick up the rest of my shopping), thank you Sue!
I was up until 1:30am making 8 resupply boxes to get me to Canada and using 90 ziplock bags to save weight and space on packaging! Tomorrow I need to go to the post office and UPS to send it all!
I slept in and finished packing most stuff but I needed more freezer bags so I headed to the closest supermarket, the Haggens. I also bought some donuts and potato salad and had this for breakfast. I had 6 bags of food to go to the post office (and then be put into boxes) and one that had to go the opposite direction to the UPS. Then one was my food for the next stretch to Crater Lake.
They were heavy and it was already about 100 degrees F so I called a taxi to pick me up and drive me the 2 miles to the post office. I was expecting to pick up my bounce box from the post office as well as a box that I had sent from San Diego back in April that had a lot of leftover energy bars, electrolyte tablets and other food. However the post office could only find my bounce box… I checked the photo I had taken of the box and realised I had sent it to the Rodeway hotel, 3 miles from where I was now with all of my heavy bags! I couldn’t post any of this stuff without the other box so I called the taxi company back and was picked up and taken to the hotel (via my hotel to pick up the UPS bag). I collected my food box from the Rodeway inn and in the back of the taxi I opened it and threw a bunch of stuff into my UPS bag then went to the UPS (very close to the Rodeway hotel), spent $30 posting a box to Stevens Pass ski area (never used UPS before but thought this was expensive), then went back to the post office… All on a taxi with the metre running, ouch!
It was 3pm and I had two hours to make 6 boxes, find the addresses and stand in a long queue. I did it outside in the heat because I was worried about taking up too much space inside but boy was it hot and I was sweating like crazy!
I made it inside by 4:45pm and there were about 12 people in front of me with two people serving. I felt sorry for whoever was going to be behind me with all my boxes not being a quick transaction.
I told the man who served me that I’d like to take a photo of each box once he had put the tracking number on them (easier to have a photo on my phone of the address and tracking number than carry a receipt) but he wouldn’t allow me… The first time this had been a problem in all the post offices I’ve been into along the trail so far. Apparently no photos in a post office, even of your own post!
While I was waiting in the queue at the post office, I got a call from UPS saying that I had left my credit card there 😦 Lucky I had a second one that I could use at the post office otherwise I probably would have sat down and cried… I was a little hot and bothered!
So from the post office I made the trek back to the UPS then back to the hotel and crashed out on the bed! I ordered takeaway pizza and fell asleep way before hiker midnight!
We all slept in until there was a knock on the door at 9am, it was Teflon 🙂 We hadn’t seen her for a few weeks now so it was great to catch up. She was heading next door to the Morning Glory cafe and we said we would get ready and meet her there.
Gen from Yama Mountain Gear (who’d I’d spoken to heaps via email and messenger but never met) was staying at our hotel so I went and knocked on his door to say hi and invited him to breakfast with us. Thanks for your awesome tents Gen and for putting together such a terrific program, mYAMAdventure!
Tapatio was at the cafe and had brought with him a packet of Vegemite that I’d given him yesterday (sent from Howard but I didn’t know how I was going to eat it because I never get to eat toast on the trail!) I showed him how to spread it on the toast (with lots of butter and a little bit of Vegemite), then Tapatio, KC and Gen all tried it… They didn’t hate it but I’m not sure they would go out and buy a jar of it. I loved it and it reminded me of home, thanks for sending it Howard!
After breakfast I spent the rest of the day lying on the bed with the AC on and updated my blog – it’s getting harder and harder to keep it updated on the trail because I rarely have phone service on the trail anymore. I promised myself I would get it all up-to-date before I left Ashland, so unfortunately I didn’t see much of Ashland but it’s such a great town that I’m sure I’ll be back as a tourist one day.
At about 9pm I headed out with KC to meet Teflon at the Black Sheep English pub. She was playing cards with Ladies Man, Powernap, Zigzag and DLux. There were quite a few other hikers there too. I played a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity with them then had a few games of darts before leaving to get takeaway tacos then walked back to the hotel.
I don’t feel ready to leave Ashland but I know I have to get back on the trail tomorrow. It was good to have this rest, there’s not many more opportunities to zero so I’ll probably just be taking nero’s from here on out.
Bring on Oregon!!