Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Day 110 - Tin Cup Trail to Wrangle Gap

I think last night was the first time I slept with the tent's vestibule cover open, at least up in the mountains. It was fun waking up during the night, and see the stars.
In the morning, we got up just as Frank was leaving. Bunion came along shortly after, and passed us. The spring 2 miles further up the trail was nothing more than a trickle, and we headed on to the next water source, which was 8 miles north. There was some spring on the way, but it was on a 1 mile side trail. I can't imagine anyone actually going there.
According to the map, there were few other springs on the way. We thought we were near one, but couldn't find it. Hiking on 2 more minutes, we came upon Fire Cracker, Tidy Camper, Princess and Sandals near the side trail to that spring we were looking for. But we were already not that far from Mud Spring, so we decided to press on.
We finally got to the road to "our" spring, and nearly missed it, because Bunion just set there close to the road, and told us there is still a while to go before the spring. After walking for a few minutes, I checked the map and realized I had just crossed the road to it. I dropped my pack, and headed back in time to catch Idan by the road. The spring was a short walk off trail, and it wasn't flowing too well anyway. Bummer.
2 miles on, we were getting close to Bearground Spring, when a side trail lead to some other spring. I got to know Lighthouse, who tried the Seiad Valley Cafe Pancake Challenge yesterday, and didn't make it, and Mung. We didn't go in, and hike just a bit further until we got to Bearground Spring, along with Fire Cracker and Tidy Camper. It was very nice hiking with them for a short while, and chatting with them while filling out water.
From there, it was just a long 4+ miles to reach the Oregon/California border. The end was all up hill, but we finally got there and I ate some snacks. We met Lighthouse and Mung again. He plans on hiking through Oregon doing 40 miles per day. Crazy. And she flies over to study in China at the end of August, so she hasn't decided yet if she'd keep on hiking into Oregon, or her off trail in Ashland.
The trail into Oregon was more uphill, and the first springs weren't very good. We started hearing distant thunders, and the skies turned gray. We wanted to hike several miles after some seasonal spring, but we made a stop at Sheep Camp Spring, which was one of the best springs we've seen on the trail, really flowing well.
We stayed there for a while, waiting for the thunders to move away. There was good cell signal there, so i finally ordered a new camera for me, that will arrive to Ashland on two days. Just when we were leaving, Thor, Fern Toe, Lighthouse and Mung came along, and showed us some distant smoke, indicating a fire started by a lightning strike. It was far away, but it still seemed scary.
We hiked out, to do about 4 more miles. It was still early, so we could of done even more. But after about 30 minutes the rain really started. And instead of waiting it out under some trees, we headed on, looking for somewhere to stop. Big mistake.
The rain kept getting stronger, and pretty soon we were drenched. We got to a dirt road, and started putting up our tents. The ground was hard, and Idan just tried hiding with his tent draped around him. I managed to set up mine, but got completely soaked. I threw all my stuff into my tent, and convinced Idan to come on in while the rain lasted. It stopped raining several minutes afterwards.
After a while, we got Idan's tent up as well, and it got fairly dry. Most of our stuff remained dry, except for our hiking clothes and our backpacks. But by now they are only somewhat moist.
Everyone else has passed us. They waited under trees, and hiked out after the rain was over. But we will still get into town tomorrow, so no worries.
Right now I am laying in my hot tent, under direct sunlight. But we still hear thunders all the time, and there are plenty of rain clouds in the sky. I wouldn't be surprised if it rains some more during the night. But inside our tents we will remain dry.
Some rusty colored flowers
Finally reaching the Oregon/California state line