Doe Notes: the diary of a 2019 intern (PART 5/5)

Read part 4 here

for the Siskiyou Hiker by Leah Doeden, 2019 intern. Photos by Trevor Meyer, staff


Doe Notes are a five part installation of field notes taken by 2019 intern Leah Doeden. They are unedited and include strong language. In this final installation of Doe Notes, Leah leads the crew for the day, and introduces us to a new acronym: goat, which means greatest of all time. Her crew mate celebrates a birthday, and Leah goes on to finish the season on a high note. You can follow Leah’s Instagram account: @leahdoeden


Day 1

The drive to the trailhead was too quick. Kind of did not want to go out again. We are working the Kelsey trail to Harrington Lake. Had my MOD Pizza. A good move on my part. Trevor is the GOAT with all the fruit he got us. We worked pretty far today.

Bear lakes looks pretty. Cowboy camping at the trailhead. I am leading the crew tomorrow. Probably just going to go scout the whole day. Just kidding. Gnocchi is wonderful on the trail.


Day 2

I successfully led the crew. They are easy to lead. Did the radio check and did not stutter. Big win. Massive shooting star just went across the entire sky.


Day 3

Brushed most the day again. I miss logs. Hiked pretty far in. I made it to the top of Red Hill second. I can haul ass when I am stress hiking and blacked out. I feel like I shouldn’t be breathing as heavy as I do at this point in the season. Got lots of rain. Had my first ramen bomb inside my tent. It was actually good. I get why people like it.


Day 4

Half day. Trevor brought cake for Rose’s birthday. I will say it once and I will say it again. Trevor is the motherfucking GOAT.


Day 5

Good mood. Camped near the junction to the West Fork. I even had the energy to go scouting after work. Got to see a little bear and eat berries. Lots of brushing tomorrow and a few logs. Harrington mountain is pretty.


Day 6

Crazy it is already day six as always. Ten days really is not that long. Day six always feels like a monumental milestone on the hitches. It is usually this day I make my mountain house meal. (My mountain house “chili” freaking sucked and was infested with mushrooms).

Finished the brushing to Harrington way quicker than I thought we would. Built the world’s largest cairn at the end of the day. Saw hikers on the hike back to camp. They were going to Harrington Lake. They could not have timed their trip any better. Somehow my hair is not even that greasy. Have been getting a lot sweatier than on past hitches. I really need to start doing cool stuff with my life so my life story takes longer than 5 minutes. The Klamath Gentian is a beautiful flower.


Day 7

Treaded down to Harrington. Was not in the best mood. I am getting pretty sentimental about everything and all the last times we are having out here on the trails. This summer flew by. I am excited to be done but I will for sure miss my tent, these people, and being disgusting.


Day 8

Long hike today. One of the hottest days for sure. With the least shade. Trevor threw a pine cone at my head. Everyone nearly ran out of water. 

Went down to Bear Lakes for a swim. It is a deceivingly long hike. It is way far down there.


Day 9

Brushed back to the lakes. Felt very done. We hiked that part of the trail far too many times. I was too excited to swim at No Man’s. Very hot. Made it to No Mans and brushed. I love the people on this crew. We had a very good time swimming. I did a back flip. 

Learned spooning (how to whittle) with Nick. We all went skinny dipping at night and in the morning. Very bittersweet. I can’t believe I spent so much time with these people this summer.



Day 10

Morning polar plunge was just what I needed. Currently driving away from it all. The hike out was easy. All sorts of feelings. Sad. Glad. Bittersweet. It was a really good summer. The Siskiyou Mountains will always be very special to me. I will certainly be back. Probably much, much later. Excited to shave my hairy legs.


Leah Doeden was a 2019 Wilderness Conservation Corps intern and 2024 Assistant Crew Leader. She’s from Silverton, OR. and a graduate of Oregon State University. 

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