Oregon is in the books.
To tackle a state out west by trail, hitch hiking is essential. Throughout California, the PCT often pulled within 15 miles of a town at some point during any 100 to 150 mile stretch. The Oregon portion of the trail pulled within similar proximities to civilization.
And as with the trail leading up to Oregon, I relied entirely on the kindness of strangers to cart me away from the trail to pick up my self prescribed rations, and get me back again.
My first resupply in Oregon was within 60 miles of crossing the border. The PCT crosses I-5 near a small mountain resort called Callahan's, about 13 miles from the nearest town, Ashland.
At the time, I was eyeing a 26 mile hitch to Bend, to buy new shoes and return my broken water filter at the REI. Not long after ordering lunch at the resort, my waitress was kind enough to offer to drive me halfway to Medford, as she was heading home to Ashland.
Simply with the signing of my dinner check I was halfway there. Hitching isn't always this easy. But sometimes it can be.
In Ashland, I didn't have much luck flagging down a ride to Medford on the I-5 on ramp. But 30 minutes in, one passerby recommended I take the bus. Honestly, I didn't even think to check.
The bus ride to Medford was something like $6 and lasted about an hour. Without walking more than a half mile from I-5 I was on the bus just 20 minutes later.
To get back to where I left off on the PCT, I plopped myself down near the I-5 on ramp the following day. Within an hour, at my second attempt at a hitching spot (whoever picks you up needs somewhere to pull over), Randy and his son Brady picked me up and drove me out of their way, the entire 26 miles back to Callahan's.
The father/son duo are carpenters by trade and actually work together as a family business. I think they picked me up because they have a soft spot in their heart for the PCT. And I hope they get out to hike the PCT one day (thanks for the ride guys!)
My next hitch was way up the road at McKenzie Pass, about 15 miles west of Sisters. The PCT crosses near an observatory made of volcanic rock. The observatory catches quite a bit of tourist traffic, and within minutes I had a ride.
As it turns out, the woman riding shotgun's brother hiked the PCT several years prior. So as the driver said, "Her brother wouldn't be too happy to hear I left you standing there!"
From Sisters I took an $11 bus ride to the rapidly growing town of Bend. Two days and my fair share of craft beer later, I took the same bus back to Sisters.
While shopping for my resupply, Al snuck up on me (as I had snuck up on him on the trail days earlier). Al is from Sisters, and by sheer dumb luck I met him twice in one weekend. He was out for a weekend backpacking trip along the PCT when we first met. But when I saw him two days later he was kind enough to drive me right back! (Thanks Al!)
I only had three resupplies in Oregon. Long food carries helped me avoid taking hitches to small moutain resorts and stick to just the nearest cities.
The last stop, Cascade Locks, Oregon is right on trail. You walk right through it. And just to the other side of the bordering Columbia River is the Evergreen State, Washington.
While I was in Cascade Locks however the timing was just right to catch a ride to Portland from a Columbus, Ohio guy, Justin. I met Justin not long before I left Columbus, but since he frequently works in Portland, he was up for the task of getting me there and back in one piece. And really it ended up as one Hell of a day and one Hell of a way to cap off Oregon.