I wasn’t going to head out to the trail until after work today, so when I left the house I had my backpack ready to go. Since I felt the packing was a little rushed I brought my pack into the office to go over the contents one more time.
I got a call from Nikki who had been in contact with me about planning a thru-hike on the ODT. She and her friend Adrian drove out from Colorado for the hike and were ready to hit the trail. I had arranged to cache water for them since I would be caching for my own 250 mile section hike. I had spent 11 hours stashing 25 gallons of water for the three of us just a few days before…so the timing was perfect to help them out. They came to the office and I was able to drive them to the start of the trail in the Badlands Wilderness, an area ONDA perminently protected in 2009.
I will cross paths with them in about a week since I am hiking west and they are headed east.
It was a busy afternoon as I prepped to be out of the office for 2 weeks, and finally about 4pm I was headed out the door.
I picked up my friend Meg (trail name Delightful who you may remember from the CDT last year) and we headed out to Plush where I ended my section hike in June. I would start again in Plush and walk home to Bend!
We stopped for dinner in Paisley at the Homestead Cafe, and made it to a Plush just about 9pm. We pulled into the store excited to see an open sign still up. Meg would have had to backtrack to Lakeview to get gas,but now I was able to fill her up for the drive back to Bend. We had planned to camp at the Hart Mt Hotsprings, but she had to work, so we said our goodbyes on the side of the road as I hopped a fence on BLM land to find a place to camp.
What a fitting send off! Now I’m tucked in between a bunch of tumbleweed and excited for 2 weeks back on the Oregon Desert Trail.