Crossing the border

by Gillian Larson | posted: June 14, 2016
Where the PCT crosses into Oregon from California

The weather changed on us today, and it was freezing cold as I rode out of Donomore Meadow in the morning and headed across the border into Oregon just south of Ashland. All day it rained and hailed off and on, and even snowed a little. I was really glad that I was going to spend the night at Callahan's lodge, near Interstate 5, where I hoped I would at least get a hot meal and maybe a shower or even a room to sleep in. When I got there, it was late, and it turned out that the lodge was booked full, so I had to give up the dream of a shower and a bed. But they were super-nice and let me put Shyla in a pen on the property (apparently an old goat pen) and scrounged around in the kitchen to find me something to eat even though they had stopped serving for the evening.

I also had a really bizarre thing happen to one of Shyla's front feet. After eating, I went to look at her in the pen, where she was munching on some hay they had left-over from the goats, and I noticed something that looked wet and shiny in the light of my head lamp. Looking more closely, I could see a few drops of blood on Shyla's hoof, and just above the hair line there seemed to me a little bump protruding near the bulb of her heel. I tried to examine it more closely, but Shyla did not want me to touch it; I finally tied her up and pick up her foot to see what looked like a large splinter--more like a stick--poking out of her skin. When I attempted to remove it, she tried to jerk her foot away, and it was obvious that it hurt her. It was hard to hold her still and get some kind of grip on the splinter, which was firmly lodged under her skin, and bending her hoof to hold it placed even more pressure on it, which just made it harder to remove. Finally I managed to extend her foot straight out in front of her, so that it didn't bend and pinch on the splinter, and using my teeth to get purchase on the wood I eventually was able to withdraw it from her foot. As soon as I did so a spurt of blood burst out after it, and the piece of wood ended up being about the size of my thumb. I have no idea when or how the splinter got there--where it was something that happened on the trail, or from a piece of the wooden goat pen--and although the bleeding worried me, the relief of getting it out was obvious from Shyla's behavior and I hoped the blood flow would help to cleanse the wound. I bandaged her up as best I could, which took a while, and finally got the bleeding to stop before I went to bed, but I was worried about how she would feel in the morning.


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