Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Day 108: Bear Dog Spring, CA to Sheep Camp Spring, OR

Across the rocky, flower filled meadow the morning light began to illuminate Mount Shasta with a gentle, golden glow.  Tentatively, I exposed an arm to the crisp, cool mountain air, then drew it back in quickly.  One by one, we woke, Sierra's giggling finally breaking the silence.  Supergirl heated water for hot coffee and chocolate, making an extra cup of his special brew to share with me.

Bear Dog Spring was barely a trickle.  It took some time to scoop up two liters of murky water, and even more time to filter it.  But the miles flew by all morning, fueled by our excitement to reach the California/Oregon border later today.

We stopped for lunch at Mud Spring.  One Ton collected water bottles from each of us, and headed for the spring while the rest of us worked on lunch.  During lunch, Sierra and Lil' Bear started a game of Trivial Pursuit based on the Harry Potter books.  The game lasted for the next few hours as we hiked down the trail.  Lil' Bear asked the most obscure questions she could think of, and Sierra met almost every challenge, faltering slightly when asked the name of Aunt Marge's dog, a fact none of the rest of us could remember either.

Then, rounding a bend in the trail, we spotted the sign we had all been waiting for: Welcome to Oregon! After 1698.8 miles (plus a few extra, given the trail reroute), California is finally behind us!

A few minutes up the trail we were greeted by another Wecome to Oregon sign, this one beautifully handdrawn by Sunshine, who hiked last year when she was 11, and her 9 year old sister Butterfly.  Party horns bugled loudly the moment we came in sight, and Sunshine, Butterfly, and their father Balls popped out of the shade to greet us.

Butterfly and Sierra quickly disappeared into the woods.  Periodic giggling kept us aprised as to their location.  Two and a half hours later, after the surrouding woods thoroughly explored and all three girls had played a rousing game of Balloon Stomp, we made plans to meet up again the next day and Sierra and I hiked on. 

We climbed through the forest onto the ridge.  Grassy hills, partially forested with large, open meadows full of lush, tall grass and a sprinkling of wildflowers, stretched out in every direction.  Mount Shasta still appeared in the distance, shrouded by a pinkish orange cloud of smoke, illuminated by the setting sun.

We stopped for the night at Sheep Camp Spring.  Sierra found a camp in a circle of firs on the hillside above the spring, and we made camp, our first in Oregon.

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