Doe-Notes Part II: Hitch 1

Doe-Notes Part II: Hitch 1

Doe Notes Part II: Hitch 1 (July 1 – 10)


photo by Trevor Meyer
by Leah Doeden, 2019 intern
for the Siskiyou Hiker

Doe Notes are the unedited chronicles of 2019 intern Leah Doeden and they include strong language. In the second installation of Doe Notes, Leah finds herself on the trail over Independence Day and she nearly runs out of food.

Day 1
Was dreading the first hitch and backpacking again. Ended up feeling a lot better and a lot stronger. This trail is a lot prettier, lots of good looking swimming holes on the creeks, hard to look at them and not swim. Easier hills to walk up.

The day did start a little riff raffy. Some hiker hobbled out of the woods, not saying a word. Scared me. We found his abandoned hunting gun a short ways up the trail with a note that said “Lost, alone, afraid, chose to abandon.” That is going to be a funny phrase I’ll probably use for the rest of my life. Glad Aaron was there to drive him to town. Glad Aaron lived to tell the tale. I really dislike seeing people out here. It feels weird. Made me angry to see some hippy camp and their very hungry looking dog. Poor dog. Sam quit today. I hope I have enough food for ten days.

Day 2
What a day.

The funnest most interesting thing I did today was fill in a big hole. The day was long. Long walking.

Sasha said my food bag was small. Now I’m self conscious. I’m getting acne.

Didn’t realize how long the hike in was until we brushed down and had to walk back. Not sure how I made it through that walk back. I booked it before I could think.
Got to swim in a pretty swimming hole. Had some decent pasta. Yum.

I think I don’t like brushing. My helmet smells like sweat and I know its not mine.

Day 3
Skeeters were out. Holy fuck. No surprise no one hikes this Clear Creek trail. Sawed some logs. Morale was low. Tomorrow we will be at a waterfall. Ate all the worst foods today. Day three sucks.

Day 4
Fourth of July. Yeehaw. Very glad I packed in a miniature flag. Worth it. Wilderness falls is way cool. Swallowed toothpaste for the first time because apparently that it a normal thing on the trail. Ew.

We spent the whole work day on two stupid logs. The sounds of cracking logs and them rolling down the hillside will act as my fireworks this year. We are going to cowboy camp on the rocks at the falls. Pretty cool.

Day 5
Worked with packs on. Feeling good from yesterday. Had lasagna for dinner. Glad Jeron had extra cheese for it.

Day 6
Feels good to be halfway done with the hitch. My pack is getting nice and light. Sorta nervous about food. I want icecream.

Today we worked the trail all the way up to Rattlesnake Meadow. It was pretty. No rattlesnakes. I was on the single which was fun. I don’t even like hiking very much. Disappointing dinner. Fancy ramen sucks.

Day 7
Good day of work. Met an old man on the trail. 76 backpacking 45 pounds with a 6 pack in hand. He works as a carpet cleaner. Wild. He made a motion of how he does the carpet cleaner with his hands, I say we gotta put that guy on the double. I smell bad.

Day 8
Worst part of the day is putting on cold carhartts. Woke up with a nice sunrise view near the secret lake. Told Aaron my goal was make it to the meadow before lunch time. He didn’t think we would make it. We made it. I like sawing. Tomorrow should be relaxed. Favorite camp spot yet.

Feels good to be almost done. Sat in a really pretty meadow as a group and read A Journey Home. Watching the sun go down. Would be a nice meadow to be buried/have ashes spread at. Really like all the people here still. I am enjoying this experience. Poptarts for breakfast tomorrow. Excited. Cutting it close on the food. Bring more snacks next time.

Day 9
Happy birthday Sasha! Aaron brought us back some treats to camp. Pizza at Kelly Lake. Great time. Columbine flower is pretty.

Day 10
We are done! Covered nearly 30 miles of trail. It feels cool having only the bare amount of stuff to live. Feels like we have been out here quite a long time. Barely remember the first day. Saw lots of snakes, sawed lots of logs, and got enough skeeter bites to be called a lepper. Ready to go back. Really love this dang van. I do not care about spending money on food anymore, if I want it, I’m going to get it. ###

  • Read Part III of Leah’s field notes

    2019 intern Leah Doeden is from Silverton, Oregon. She’s an accounting major at Oregon State University and has an interest in mortuary sciences. Follow her on Instagram @Leahdoeden.

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