Destination: MM 1738ish
Cumulative Miles: 1413.5
We hoped to sleep in this morning, but the sprinklers at Callahan's came on at 5am, wetting our tent and disrupting our sleep. Psycho went to the front desk to ask that the sprinklers hitting the tent be turned off, but the office was closed until 7am, so we packed up and took a shower.
After the shower we had breakfast in the lodge, and then prepared to go to downtown Ashland to handle our town errands. Sue, a local trail angel, picked us up and drove us to town. She let us keep our gear in her car while it stayed parked downtown, so our errands would be easier. After going to the post office, grocery store, library, and outfitter, Sue drove us back up to the trail. She even gave us fresh picked blueberries and cherries to enjoy while we hiked.
(Thank you Sue for being superbly accommodating to our erratic schedule)
There was a light rain falling as we started hiking, as if Oregon wanted to welcome us back to our home state. The clouds rumbled with thunder. Thirty minutes into our hike lightening struck one-quarter of a mile from us, and hail a quarter inch (at least) in diameter started pelting us. We took shelter under a small tree while we waited out the heaviest part of the storm.
About twenty minutes later, the hail had passed, and the lightening seemed to have died down (at least in our neck of the woods). We continued our hike. The rain pretty much stopped, and we were left in a quiet forest. The bugs, which usually buzz with the sort of ferocity reserved for the birth of electricity, fell silent. Birds with their songs and chatter were nowhere to be heard. The thunder had ceased temporarily, and the soil underfoot was just barely damp, cushioning and silencing our steps.
For a moment, the silence was deafening. We heard nothing, and we only had sight and smell. The air carried a semi-pungent odor; a frothy mix of damp soil, wet greenery, and electricity. It was an isolated feeling, but our sense of smell rooted us to the ground, where our sense of hearing was away on vacation.
We came upon a robin bird sitting on the trail. Unaware of what happened, we could only stand in silence as we watched it sit upon the trail, quivering and breathing, but not moving away from our approaching boots. We continued along, allowing nature to run it's course with the bird.
Miles later, and several lightening strikes later, we arrived at camp. The small spring allowed us to replenish water while we cooked and looked upon the dramatic pink-orange sky created by the collision of the setting sun and the passing thunderstorm.
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