[pct-l] Callahan's burns

Linda Jeffers gottago at lindajeffers.com
Sun Sep 3 15:01:23 CDT 2006

Below is a journal entry from the day I would hike my longest mileage ever,
just to get to the well known Callahan's!

How sad it is to have heard Callahan's burned. What a wonderful memory I
have of the service I received from the employees and the comfort I
experienced while spending the night there this day, July 25th. 


Thurs. July 25, 2002     Days on Trail:              91

Destination:     Callahan's (I-5, near Ashland, OR)       Today's Miles:
34.3 (+1 mile)

Starting Location:        Mud Springs Spur Road (6.5 miles from the
Oregon/California border)

            Total Miles:      1721.5


Last night's campsite at Mud Springs Spur Road was very comfortable and
practical. There was a nicely-running spring at the end of the road where I
filled up with 4 quarts of water. I camped just off the dirt road, under
pine trees, in a cleared, flat site that had a rock fire ring.


The site was very comfortable, I laid around so long the next morning that I
didn't begin hiking until 6:40am. I'm surprised how well my legs are holding
up with the higher mileage hiking. Isn't it interesting how only a day or
two ago I wrote that I wasn't going to hike past 7:30pm and that I wasn't
going to do high mileage days! I'm a fast forgetter. I just don't know what
it is about my needing/wanting to get that mileage in. I do know that I
wanted to get to Hyatt Lake Resort by the end of my 3rd day of hiking. I
didn't want to have to hike any of the 88 miles I had between Seiad Valley
and Hyatt Lake Resort, on the morning of the 27th, the fourth day.


The first 6.5 miles of this morning's hike were exciting. I had great
motivation. I couldn't wait to see the Oregon/California border. I'd
remembered seeing on one of the PCT videos of someone's trip, the hikers
hugging the tree that had the Oregon sign on it. I wasn't disappointed when
I came to the tree on the trail I'd seen in the video. There was a mileage
sign showing how many miles to Canada. I think it said 962. On one side of
the tree a sign said "California" and the other side it said "Oregon". I was
happy to see the PCT trail register. I lifted the top of the box and opened
the notebook. Before I entered my name and what I wanted to say, I looked at
the other PCT hikers who were ahead of me and what they had written and how
far ahead they were.


Phil (Donk) was 10 days out there ahead of everyone except Hans Solo. Then I
saw how fast Smokey was moving. I think he and Artie & Sherry were 5 days
ahead. I haven't seen Ann & Lee's names in the last 2 registers.


I wrote that I was looking forward to seeing Celine, Jane and Jack in Bend
and my sister Leila in Oregon. I also wrote that I can't believe the day had
come that I would actually have hiked the State of California (except for
the 100 miles from Echo Lake to Sierra City that I skipped. I plan to go
back there and hike that section directly following the Big Book Seminar,
September 17. I'll fly out of Sacramento at the end of the seminar in the
afternoon of September 21st to Reno. From Reno I'll hitch to Echo Lake. I
hope to stay a day at the Echo Lake Resort. It was so beautiful. Then I want
to slowly, very slowly, hike my last 100 miles.)


I spent 20 minutes at the border. As soon as I climbed the next hill, I
started to smell the smoke and see the smoky skies from the Oregon fires. I
took pictures of the smoke and haze that prevented seeing any of the
landscape of the surrounding mountains. I'd read the PCT guidebook and it
would say, "to the Southeast you'll notice blah, blah peak." There is no
way, with the smoke, to identify anything that is beyond 1/4 of a mile away.


All day long I kept thinking about Callahan's. It is a hotel/restaurant, 1
mile off the PCT, near the I-5, and within 12 miles of Ashland. I'd heard
they only serve dinner and that the spaghetti dinner was great. From where I
started hiking this morning, Callahan's was 35 miles away. [When one idea
takes precedent over all other ideas . isn't that the definition of insanity
(without balance, without moderation)?] I figured I could never get that
many miles in today because I left camp too late. But all throughout the
day, I kept pushing, just to see how far I could get.


I passed Mickey Mouse's Mom and Sister. (Mickey Mouse is another PCT hiker
I've not met.) They were hiking north-to-south to meet him on the trail. She
asked if I was trying to get to Ashland tonight. I told her I didn't think I
had enough time left in the day, but that put my mind in action again. Maybe
I CAN make the I-5 and Callahan's. Usually, going into a town is a lot of
descending. I hike much faster downhill.


I hadn't read ahead enough in the PCT guidebook because what it said was
that there was no camping 5 or 6 miles before the I-5. It was privately
owned land and hikers had to stay on the trail.


I passed the quaint and charming Ashland Inn, a very inviting Bed and
Breakfast. They have a note to the PCT hikers on the trail to freely use the
water from the faucet they provided. They also said that we could use the
picnic table, placed just for us, just off to the side of the Inn, but
please - no camping. I thought about checking into the Inn but it was only
at the 29 mile point in my day's hike. Now, I don't know if I can explain
why I couldn't stop, but maybe other hikers relate. Stop before and so close
to Mile 30? Stop before I get to see if I can make it to Callahan's?


Well, once I passed the Inn was when I read about no camping in the next 6
miles. So I was committed now to getting to Callahan's. How late do they
serve dinner I wondered? The race was on, much like the fast hiking descent
down to Belden! (Coach and Just Jane remember that knee breaking; steep
downhill, fastpack to get to the restaurant before 3pm when it closed.)


So here I am, hiking with no choice to stop. It's getting darker and I'm in
one of those scary dark forests. My head was on overtime trying to scare me.
Cougars and mountain lions were getting ready to pounce on me. I kept
thinking about what I'd read before . "don't jog at dusk in lion country" .
does fastpacking count as jogging in a lion's mind, I wondered? I kept
turning around and looking over my shoulder. He wasn't going to catch me by
surprise. (1/24/04 - Just last week the LA newspapers were full of lion
attack articles!)


At the end of the trail, around the I-5, I went the wrong way and had to
back track. I hate getting lost normally, but especially when it's getting
dark (8:30pm) and when I'm hungry and know the restaurant probably doesn't
stay open past 9pm.


I found Callahan's, or better yet, I found the way to get under the I-5 to
it. I walked up to the reception desk, requested a room for the night, and
then the girl looked at her watch. I knew that meant trouble. It was 9pm
when I arrived and she said that the restaurant closed at 9pm. Great.


She was kind and gave me a tray to take to my room with a green salad, lots
of bread and butter, and a Pepsi. That worked. I showered quickly, rather, I
bathed in the tub 'cause I couldn't figure out how to make the shower part
come on. Then I sat on my bed, with my feet elevated, and ate everything on
the tray.


I didn't turn out the light until midnight. My alarm was set for 4:30am. Boy
did the bed feel good.



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