Fire, Oregon, and Bling

Day 112 – 8/1/15
A camp site several miles into Oregon
Miles – 23.3
Total Miles – 1752.6 (PCT 1691.1)

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The thunderstorms last night went on for a while. Most of the lightening was up in the clouds however there was one bolt that hit the ground not far from us. The flash was much brighter than all the others and the thunder was quite loud. Little Crow leaped into my arms soon after it happened. Mama Raven was outside and saw the bolt of lightening go through the trees below us. In the morning we woke to cloudy skies that cleared by early mooring. Also there was smoke everywhere. The air smelled strong of it. About 50 miles to the west there is a fire burning. It has been filling all the valleys with so much smoke we could not see very far. We hiked for only several hundred yards when Mama Raven noticed smoke coming up form the hill below her. This was the area where the loud bolt hit last night. I dropped my pack and quickly hiked back to the road. At the road, there was a father with his two kids camping and a man that was fixing a flat tire on his truck. I told both of them about the fire and asked if one of them could drive out till they could get cell service and call 911. The local gentleman fixing the flat tire grabbed a pick axe out of the back of his truck and headed up the trail. I followed. When we got back to the location of the fire, he headed down toward the fire. I told him we would hike on and try to get high enough to call 911. It took us about 15 or 20 minutes to get a signal. I called 911 and gave them the information. We never found out if a fire crew showed up but we did see a spotter plane flying around the area most of the day.
We hiked strong for most of the day. Our trail rode the tops of ridges and around tops of deep valleys. We did have problems finding water. Three springs in a row were fouled by cattle. We finally found a really good one in the late afternoon. Around 7:30, we reached our goal we have been working toward for months, the California/Oregon border. It took three and a half months for us to walk the entire length of California. Will and Little Crow were really excited. Papa Raven and I were proud of our little Ravens. Not too many kids can claim they have done such a feat. The next two states will go much faster given they are 450 to 500 miles each. At the border, Will was to finally pick a trail name. He has been putting it off and has said he would let us know which name he chooses at the Oregon/California border. He has been mentally collecting names other hikers have suggested to him. He narrowed it down to two: Talon and Bling. The winner is Bling!
Just to prove we are in Oregon, 10 minutes after we hiked into Oregon, it started to rain. Not a hard rain but rain none the less.

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Fire

Day 75 – 6/25/15
Noble Lake
Miles – 17.9
Total Miles – 1094.8 (PCT 1044.0)
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We were a little a slow getting up this morning. For once, Little Crow woke up before Will. Then the kids had fun with Mama Raven, they ate quickly, got dressed, and then they got out of the tent before Mama Raven. They are known for being incredibly slow in the mornings and they wanted to surprise their mom. We wish they would do this every morning!  We left camp and headed up to the top of a ridge and then worked our way northward. There was over 9000′ of elevation change today. That is quite a bit and most of it came in little rolling hills and ridges.
Around lunch time we hiked into a location where we could see the fire. Huge columns of smoke were climbing high into the sky. There was one point where the fire topped a ridge and within the black smoke you could see the flames shooting up. Mama Raven and Will saw a helicopter flying in and out of the fire dropping water or fire retardant. The columns of smoke were scaring Little Crow. I explained that the fire was miles to the northeast and that we were hiking away for it, but that did not help much, she only felt better when we had several ridges between us and the fire, and she could not see the smoke. We heard from some south bounders that Hwy 4, Ebbitts Pass was open today. That is a good news for us going through tomorrow. I just want to get to the other side of the fire and walk away from it. So does Little Crow!
Mama Raven’s feet are still giving her problems. She started the day out in Crocs, but after awhile the bottoms of her feet started to hurt. We then cut the sides of her shoes some more and she hiked in them for most of the day. There are such big gashes in her shoes now that all kinds of small pebbles get in that are annoying. At least now they are no longer squeezing the balls and toes of her feet like they were. We had dinner at Asa Lake just off of the trail. While Mama Raven was washing the pan, the old, rotten log she was on broke away and she tumbled into the water  Her pants, gaiters, socks, and Crocs got soaked and covered in green sludge. She was not happy! We left Asa Lake and its mosquitoes, climbed a tall ridge, and dropped down the other side. We stopped at  beautiful Noble Lake to talk to Snow White, Wall Street, and Dundee who were camped there. After standing talking for almost a half hour we decided to just set up camp with them. It was a little short on the miles but fun to sit around and talk to other hikers.DSC07096-6-25-15
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Will, Little Crow, Dundee, and Wall Street