Oregon! I have finally arrived in Ashland, Oregon! Almost 1700 miles from the start is the border of California and Oregon. It took over three months, but Oregon I am in Oregon. California makes Virginia on the AT seem small at only 400 miles or so.
The hike northwards from Castella where I picked up the trail after the Sierra has been beautiful, particularly the Trinity Alps and Marble Mountain Wilderness areas between Castella and Etna.
There was an official small trail closure near Etna due to forest fire, but I was to get back on the trail after only 12 miles. After that, there were a few hazy, smoky days due to fires, but the air was a bit clearer at higher elevations. I also got to meet some of the hard working wilderness firefighters and they gave the group I was with some trail magic – snacks and fresh fruit.
Because I was in Oregon, I was also able to see almost a full eclipse. In Etna, there were some free eclipse glasses that many hikers took. There was a group of us who took a long break on a hillside to watch the eclipse at the right time. It was quite interesting as it got cold quickly without the full heat of the sun.
Now that I’ve arrived in Oregon, it is time to say goodbye to Oregon and come back after hiking Washington. One reason is forest fires. There are three groups of fires burning in Oregon that have closed at least 100 miles of trail. Another reason is that it is already late August and looking at the calendar, I would be finishing the trail the first week of October. The weather in the Cascades, like the Whites can be unpredictable at the time of year, with rain and snow. Bettee not to be caught in that.
So, goodbye Oregon for now and hello Washington!
Typical scenery in the Trinity Alps:
A brilliant sunrise due to smoke in the air from nearby forest fires: