After a zero day and a nero day in Ashland of shopping and mailing and hanging out at Evo's Coffeehouse, I got up early, grabbed my backpack and bounce bucket and left the hostel for good, making one last stop at Evo's. I checked my email. Chuck and Tigger said to call for a ride to the trail so I did.
I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and waiting for the Post Office to open. I sent my bounce bucket to Crater Lake and got a ride to the trail from Chuck and Tigger with Unbreakable and No Trace also in the van. I was sorry I had missed Chuck's big birthday bash the night before but wished him a belated happy birthday.
I thought that everyone was going to hike out, too. I was surprised they were giving me alone a ride to the trail. If I had known I probably would not have bothered them to make the trip.
They dropped me off on Highway 99. I expected the trail to do what it always does after you drop down into town, which is go back up into the mountains again. But instead it seemed to descend more than climb. For a moment it looked like the trail was headed for Ashland as it descended into the oak-studded foothills you can see from the city. But at the end of the day I ended up a little higher than where I started.
It was very hot and the trail had little water to drink. My one liter ran out before I got to the first water source. At the following water source, a detour down a road to a reservoir, I topped off. I was back to Southern California water management. At a hose in the middle of nowhere I topped off again but only because the water was so cold.
I ended up at a creek flowing from Little Hyatt Reservoir. I checked out the recommended camping at the lake. It was fine if it does not bother you that the only flat and soft places to sleep were filled with used toilet paper.
I continued on down the trail a little until I found lumpy spot halfway up a climb out of a meadow. No mosquitoes. It turned out the be the absolute worst campsite I ever made. The lumps were all wrong and it was not flat. I fought gravity all night.
The last guide book was the Book of Lies. I was thinking today that this new guide book was more like the Book of Lies and Omissions. I had a hard time finding many of the landmarks and many were not quite the same as described. Some landmarks that seemed pretty prominent to me were not even mentioned in the book. During the day I bumped into Richard and Maya and they were relieved I was confused as much as they were, since they thought I, being an experienced "thru" (almost) hiker, probably always knew where I was. Ha! Half the time I had no idea.