Ashland to Etna

By the numbers
Total Miles hiked: 1755.7
Completion percentage: 66.25%
Hiking days: 90
Zero days: 29
Total Ascent: 305520
Total descent: 305526
Notable injury count: 2
Toenails count: 9.5

There is no better feeling than putting an aggressive plan in place an executing on it. At the beginning or Oregon I committed to traversing the state in 17 days and am happy to say that I was able to honor that. I crossed over the Oregon/Calfornia border on the afternoon of my 17th day. As anticipated, the terrain was much softer allowing me in increase my milage. That being said, it was far from easy. The vast majority of my days were spent hiking at least 30 miles, with my longest day exceeding 35.

My last border crossing before the finish!

Oregon was an exercise in mental toughness rather than physical as most of the pressures to perform were internal rather than external. Up to this part of the trail the hiking was difficult because of extreme weather, tough terrain, and injuries; The trek across Oregon was a slog because the days were so long and repetitive. I had a very regular daily cadence of: wake up at 5:15am, start to hike at 6am, finish hiking at 8pm, and be asleep by 9pm. On top of that, save Crater lake and the odd mountain, there isn’t much of anything interesting to look at. Pushing myself in that environment was more difficult than I had anticipated. There wasn’t much of a reward involved and finding the motivation to keep going each day was a bit of a chore. One can only get excited to look at lush forest so much. This is in direct opposition to my experience in Washington, which had a fresh spectacular view around every corner and over every hill crest. Before I started to hike the trail, I would often hear from people that it was more of a mental challenge than a physical one. Oregon was the first time that felt like the truth to me.

I’m writing this post in while in Etna California. I’m now 100 miles into NorCal and firmly in mountainous terrain. Crossing over the state border brought with it an abrupt change in the trail and the return of external pressures. The day I crossed over the border I was met with heavy rain and steep, rock covered terrain. Except for a flat stretch coming up in 100 miles or so, the rest of my hike will be like this. I have less than 900 miles to go till competition and am looking forward to returning to pushing my physical limits.

The elevation profile of the trail coming into and out of Sied Valley. Note: not to scale

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