Seiad Valley (my mile 1027, trail mile 1656) to Crater Lake (my mile 1192, trail mile 1821) Independence Day in Ashland was like a city-wide party. Tidbit and I walked along the main street as we watched the miles-long parade, then enjoyed hearty lunches at an English pub (the irony). At a street fair, we watched pro-choice protestors face off with pro-life protestors welding signs with pictures of aborted foetuses, until the… Read More

Dunsmuir (my mile 872, trail mile 1501) to Seiad Valley (my mile 1027, trail mile 1656). My own poor organisation caused me to spend nearly two full days in Dunsmuir while I waited for a package with my new odour-proof food bag. In hindsight I’m glad it worked out that way, because Dunsmuir is delightful. It’s an historic railroad town on the Sacramento River in the shadow of Mount Shasta, tucked away… Read More

Kennedy Meadows (mile 702) to Dunsmuir (my mile 872, trail mile 1501). I got a ride out of Kennedy Meadows from a trail angel, along with Tidbit and a young German girl named Grit. We’d booked a rental car down the mountain in Ridgecrest. Our plan was to take our time driving the Pacific Coast Highway up to San Francisco, where we’d drop off Grit, then continue up to the redwoods. On… Read More

Tehachapi (Mile 566) to Kennedy Meadows (Mile 702) It took me exactly two months to make it through the desert. Reaching Kennedy Meadows – the gateway to the Sierra – is my biggest milestone of the trail so far, but the achievement is a little bittersweet. Like almost every hiker out here I’ve had my heart set on a continuous thru-hike from Mexico to Canada, but conditions may make that unwise. The… Read More

Agua Dulce (Mile 454) to Tehachapi (Mile 566) Appalachian Trail hikers have invented some pejorative nicknames for the states that trail passes through. Vermont, for example, is known among hikers as Vermud. Pennsylvania is Rocksylvania. New Jersey is New Bearsy. In this spirit, I’d like to propose that California be known forever more as “Windyfornia”. Allow me to explain. The winds in this past section have been intense. There are long stretches… Read More