Start: Windigo Creek (1909)
Camp: Windigo Pass (1884)
It was a really nice, calm, overcast morning and I slept until 8:00, which is very late. I started by burning the first few pages I’ve read from my new book. I started hiking up the Oregon Skyline alternate and it rained. I actually had to wear my FroggToggs jacket. I talked to a lot of people and one couple, Alice and Terry offered to buy my lunch in Ashland, but more importantly they are section hiking Oregon with their chihuahua!!! Her name is Pip and she is… So cute! I held her and kissed her and wiped her eye. She is a lot like Sophie, who I miss sooo much.
I came to a confusing intersection where I had to sit and wait for someone to come to find out which way to go, which took less time than it took me to take off my coat. The herd is here. Since my box didn’t make it to Shelter Cove Resort, other hikers helped me out with snacks, which don’t make it to the hiker box, but I never thought about maps. For the moment I’m hiking blind because in the trees and weather my phone’s GPS won’t work. I’m sprouting mung beans as I hike with a little kit that northbounders Peter and Tim, from Ohio, gave me.
Today I met Happy Man. Yesterday it was Smiley. A few days before that Ass Waggin’ was a standout. My point: there are a lot of names out here concerning happiness, and that concerns me. It’s as if happiness is not something standard, it is something so uncommon that you can name somebody after it and that name won’t apply to anyone else. Is my peers logic flawed, or has happiness become that uncommon?
Yesterday I left my headphones behind when I broke camp. Today I asked a guy of he had any extras. He was the only person I asked. He said yes and gave me a nice pair of sporty ear buds. His name was Special Sauce.
Magical rain. I had to fight for every mile today. Blisters spread across my right foot. The left is performing flawlessly. My right pinky toe is living inside a bubble. I’m slowly opening it up to let the new skin adapt to living on the surface. My right shoe is wearing out. It’s as if in the last two days something about my gate, particularly on the right, has changed. Anyway, there are angels here on the pass cooking up hot dogs and there is a water cache. I set up my tent just as it started to rain again. Smartly, I put it under good tree cover, so that hard rain shouldn’t mist through, although I’m hoping it only rains like that in Washington. I’ve only done 20 miles today because the alternate route is eight miles shorter, but in this weather it’s easy to feel dejected.
Last night it was two pine saplings, tonight it’s a tiny Vaccinium with edible red berries; camping in a floorless tent is like sleeping in a different garden every night.
Hope is a beggar. Faith is putting one foot in front of the other as the bridge decking appears out of a fog.