8/17: (0.8 miles...yeah) Today I hung out in the hostel for most of the morning. I packed up my stuff and set it out of the way, then headed off to the library to do some computer usage. Afterwards I went back to the hostel and hung out in the common room. I found out that I chose to send my box to the Green Springs Inn (which is closer to the PCT, but after Ashland). I wanted to sort through my box while I was still in town so a guy at the Green Springs Inn said he'd bring the box back to Ashland when he got off work, but that wouldn't be till around 4pm. So I hung out longer in the hostel. Check out time was 11am and I hung out there till around....2pm. Yeah. They eventually kicked me out and I went to seek somewhere else I could leave my pack while I explored downtown. Turns out the Ashland Outdoor Store is very hiker-friendly: they have a hiker box, 10% hiker discount, and a place where you can leave your pack. Plus, after I got my box, they let me sort through it there. Finally I had a burger and fantastic milkshake at Ruby's before I headed out. Within 1 minute of sticking my thumb out for a ride, a biker offered me a ride back to the trail (his house was a block away). He's a former JMT hiker and when we got to his house there was a family of deer in his backyard! In downtown Ashland! I started hiking after he dropped me off and saw a nice, comfy tentsite pretty soon and decided to camp there (especially since I wasn't planning on heading out until the next day anyway). Still close enough to get plenty of 3G so I spent the rest of the night watching YouTube videos and being lazy while I digested burger and milkshake.
8/18: (22.3 miles) Being in Oregon is great. In some ways, it's still just like California (bloody hot, some snakes, fine dust everywhere), but there's one great thing about Oregon: lots of shade. Every now and then you hit an exposed section of trail where there's nothing but dead grass, rocks, dust, and lots of sun, but a tenth of a mile later you'll be back in the lush forest. That's what today was. In and out of the desert and forest. As I neared 7pm, I realized I might be able to make it to Hyatt Lake Resort before they closed (but I had no idea when they closed). I got to the paved road around 7:50pm and got a ride almost right away. We got to the resort at 7:55pm and...closed. Both the store and the restaurant with no one in sight. So the nice guy took me down to the Hyatt Lake Campground (where I was planning on camping anyway). The Hyatt Lake Campground is probably the nicest campground I've stayed at so far. Water from spigots, flushing toilets, plenty of outlets, and FREE SHOWERS.
8/19: (20.4 miles) Today was pretty much the same as yesterday (desert-forest-desert-forest...repeat) but much more lush forest (which was much appreciated). Wasn't anything special that happened today...another day of hiking. Camped at South Brown Mountain Shelter with a few other hikers. It was basically a tiny log cabin with a dirt floor. There was a wide shelf that went around the inside of the cabin that I slept on with another hiker.
8/20: (9.9 miles) Small day today. Pounded out the miles. Everything was going pretty well until I came to this section of the trail that was just fields of lava rocks. The trail was covered with "lava rock gravel" which isn't even close to stable and isn't what I would call "comfortable to walk on". And trekking poles don't help because using trekking poles on the hard, sharp rocks will destroy the tips (so I just carried the poles). I got to Highway 140 around 12:30pm and got picked up by family around 1:30pm taking me home with them to Klamath Falls. Shower! Laundry! Computer! Home-cooked food!