Kelly and I both took Friday off from work, and amongst other things, our plan was to find a nice morning hike. Following an unnecessarily lengthy review of potential candidates, we settled on the Pacific Crest Trail. Sure, the logistics of driving only 15 minutes to the nearest trailhead could not have been easier, but in actuality, its hard to feel that we actually ‘settled’.
The PCT is the most widely used north/south long-distance hiking trail on the western portion of the United States, and those who choose to follow its path will view some of the most beautiful scenery there is to be seen.
Map of the PCT
With Canada and Mexico as bookends, the trail spans 2,663 miles through California, Oregon, and Washington and is closely aligned with the highest portion of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges. Not in a position to hike the entire trail on Friday, we spent three hours exploring an out and back section.
The trailhead we used for access was just off an old logging road and I’m guessing receives moderate usage. We saw only one other party (two people total) which made for a very enjoyable morning on the trails.
Yesterday Kelly and I accompanied Brian and Leigh on a bit of reconnaissance as they scouted potential boondocking sites near Ashland. These guys are pros when it comes to sniffing-out free camp sites, that is those locations offering a blend of beauty, no costs, and quality WiFi. Kelly and I find ourselves increasingly attracted to these type locations, so we were keen to join them.
Initial site located.
We visited a few additional locations before moving onto the Grizzly Peak Trail for a nice tree-lined hike and more good conversation.
Clowning around on the Grizzly Trail
After the hike we had plans for dinner – sadly the week was ending, but not before one final meal and more swapping of stories.
Enjoying our last supper
Our week with Brian and Leigh has been really great. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and earlier today, Kelly and I parted ways with our traveling buddies – we are headed south to Half Moon Bay and they continue onward in their crawl towards Canada.
We cannot wait to meet-up again.
After work today, Kelly and I had drinks with Brian and Leigh at their
place Airstream, before moseying into town for pizza and salad at the super informal Martolli’s – one of our favorite places to eat in Ashland.
Over the course of the evening many stories were shared … all which are securely situated in the vault.
Brian and Leigh are good people and it was a stevie wonderful evening.
Like most days, Kelly and I worked all day. Normally, this routine plays itself out as we sit in office buildings miles apart. Here in the Airstream this week we sit at a table working 42 inches from one another, yet hardly exchange a word. We are too busy pounding away at our laptops and remotely participating in meetings, all while bouncing in and out of instant message chat sessions with co-workers.
Sadly, I’ve accepted this mundane repetition of ours as the new normal … the quid pro quo of working for the man … we push the corporate rock uphill (a seemingly never-ending hill mind you) in exchange for a regular paycheck every two weeks.
Working remotely this week was supposed to shake things up a bit. Alas, even here in our beloved Ashland, we cannot escape the whispers of work as it peaks over our shoulders, it’s stale breathe an unwelcome reminder of what awaits us back in California.
It is what it is I suppose.
And, it sucks.
Oh the irony – here we are situated smack in the middle of natural beauty. Stunning 360 views abound and I hardly looked out the window.
On a more positive note, the day concluded in a lovely manner – Mother Nature gracing us with fabulous dusk lighting as the sun made its way elsewhere for the evening.
Our silver neighbors
Tomorrow is Friday and once Kelly and I close another work week, our first order of business will be to hit the town with Brian and Leigh; they too will likely be itching to step away from the responsibilities of the real world.
Surely they will be sufficiently bad influences … exactly what Kelly and I need.