Hiking With Jason

Detached From Reality

Day 88: Hard decisions

Day 88 – 7/18/16

Paynes Lake 1591.47 to Sawyers Bar road 1597.25

Total miles: 5.78

Last night was horrible. I might have gotten an hour of sleep. My back was pulsing with pain all night. I packed up my  stuff at 5:20 and was gone by 5:40. I had less than 6 miles to the road into Etna. As I was hiking I made my decision. My back and feet were in too much pain and I was starting to worry about causing permanent damage. I decided I would go home for a couple weeks and then hop back on the trail at Bend, Or with my friend on August third.
I came to a saddle and checked if I had service. I talked to my mom and told her my plan. I would get to Etna and stay the night and then make my way to Medford the next day to fly home to Phoenix. I was a little sad. I don’t want to get off the trail. I wanted to hike to Canada and having to skip 400 miles seems like I’m failing at my goal. But I have to do what is right for my body and I was worried that I might cause more problems if I kept on hiking.

I got to the road and there where a bunch of people on bikes getting ready for a ride and a couple vans with trailers that would follow behind. I quickly hiked my way over to them and asked if they were going in to Etna. Unfortunately they were going the other direction. Dang. I set my pack down and waited for about 30 minutes for a car to pass. The first one was a work truck. No dice. About 15 minutes later a black SUV pulled off. I asked if she was going into Etna and she said she was. She said “I’m a smoker, is that a problem?” I told her a ride is a ride. I got in and didn’t smell any smoke. The road is a winding road and took about 20 minutes to go 11 miles.

She dropped me off at the Hiker Hut hostel and it was just a small building with 4 bunks. I wanted my own room do I walked the mile through the small main street of Etna to the Etna Motel. The owners were at breakfast and after about 15 minutes a lady pulls up in an off road golf cart and gets me a room. I take a shower and start looking at how to get to Medford. Google directions fails me and says 20 hours. I figure out that there is a greyhound from Weed, CA to Medford. I figure out there is a bus to Yreka and then down to Weed. Unfortunately the timing of busses, greyhound, and flights would make it a two day process. Although I figure out I could get to Weed today and then Medford tomorrow for a flight out. I go up to the office and ask the lady if I could cancel and give her $10 for the shower. She gives me a refund and I gather up my stuff and head over to where the bus stop was and find some lunch. I stop at a cafe and get a turkey sandwich. I had a couple hours to kill so I charged up my dying phone in the cafe. About 20 minutes before the bus was scheduled I walked over and sat on a bench.

The bus arrived on time and I got on. I told the driver what I needed to do and she said I just had to get off at the stop next to the grocery store and get on the bus heading to Weed. Easy enough.

I get to Yreka and missed the bus to Weed by about 5 minutes. The next one is in an hour. I walk over to McDonald’s to charge my phone. I get a large chocolate shake. Yum! I walk back over and wait for the bus. Lots of weirdos here. The bus comes and I ask which stop I need for getting to the HI Lo cafe which has a motel and there is another across the street.

The bus ride is about an hour and the driver drops me off close to where I need to be. I walk across the street to the motel and get a room. I bought my bus and plane tickets for tomorrow and then went across to the Hi Lo cafe for dinner. I got a pretty tasty burger and some sweet potato fries. I went back to my room and vegetated in bed watching TV trying not to think about how I am off trail.


  1. Merna Campbell

    July 23, 2016 at 11:50 am

    I feel bad for you Jason but you know what is best for you so I am not going to bug you with a pep talk about not giving up. Just wanted to know that I am thinking about you. You accomplished so far more than most people would have.

  2. Marty (maddog's sister)

    July 23, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Jason, we will miss your posts and stories! Get well soon and we hope to see you in Canada.

  3. Mad Dog's Wife

    July 23, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Mad Dog texted me and asked that I let you know that he hopes to see you on the trail again sometime!

    • Well I’ll be back on the trail either the third or fourth of August around mile 2,000. Hopefully we run into each other around then!

  4. You made the right decision to take care of your health. I am so very proud of you. I love you,Jas.

  5. Thank you for being so dedicated in sharing your adventure. Have really enjoyed your posts. Looking forward to your return to the trail. Best of luck!!!

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