Day 96: mile 1687.7 -mile 1712.5

Elevation gain: 4,158 ft

Elevation loss: 4,343 ft

Oh man…California is LONG! Holy cow, it literally felt like it was going to go on forever. We always joked with Mantis & Pants that we wondered if Oregon really existed at all. Well, it does, thank goodness, and we have made it! California was 1,694 miles…YOWZA! We now only have 958 to go. To say that we were very excited to reach this landmark today would be a complete understatement. We were walking by 6:45, so anxious to see this next state after 95 days of hiking. The air was extremely smoky this morning from the fire and it still smelled like someone was having a campfire right nearby. In perfect California fashion, the trail had us climbing up to the border…I wouldn’t have expected anything less.

Camp sunrise
Donomore cabin, now abandoned

We only had 4 miles to the border and decided a little “Legend” by The Score was just what we needed to lead us to this mini victory!

Signing the register

After taking a ton of pix and video, we celebrated with our honey bun, pop tart, and breakfast shakes. A section hiker named Reenie came by which was perfect so that she could take our jumping picture. She said she could hear us yelling in celebration from the river below which was over a mile away…heehee!Once Link and I started hiking again, we reminisced about California and we each picked our top 5 places/happenings from the entire state. This was hard but I said: Eagle Rock in the desert, summiting Mt Whitney, Mather Pass in the Sierra, the lava cave right before the Hat Creek Rim trail, and Burney Falls. Link said: Eagle Rock, Whitney, Muir Pass, the Midway Point, and Burney Falls. Then we tried to break it down into top 5 for each section (desert, Sierra, and NorCal) which was even harder but fun to chat about. As we walked into Oregon, we got to walk away from the smoky haze and toward more blue skies and green trees than we had seen in quite some time!

The wildflowers were still absolutely stunning as well. I can’t believe how many different ones can be packed into one area…Mother Nature is amazing!

Oregon Checker-mallow
Heartleaf Arnica
The light colored stuff is Spanish moss, bright green is Wolf Lichen
Common Beargrass
Rockfringe Willowherb

So…I swear the trail became wider and smoother, with less rocks to trip on once we hit Oregon. Even though we only walked about 22 miles in Oregon today, there wasn’t any overgrowth along the trail either! Maybe it’s just like this in the beginning to welcome us into the new state…we will find out soon enough! All I know is that for today, it was absolutely lovely. Link and I found ourselves feeling rejuvenated with a newfound joy for this Oregon trail, that’s for sure!

We stopped for about 45 mins for lunch, and then for another 45 mins when we found a good enough signal to download pix. Otherwise we were just walking and enjoying our new scenery.

Made it to camp at 7pm and I was starving! Only having one town meal over the last 5 days has really increased my hunger. So I made dinner while Link put up the tent, and we were eating our chicken white bean chili in no time. I can’t wait for town meals tomorrow and then 2 zeros in Ashland to celebrate our anniversary!! We’ve heard it’s a super cute town so we can’t wait to explore it. Thanks for joining along with us on this wacky journey. Double Down