Day 97

It has gotten late, but Today made quite an impression on me, so I want to pen it down while it is completely fresh in my memory. Let’s get to it.

Failing to get early to bed yesterday I didn’t want to be sleepwalking like the previous morning so I let myself sleep in just a bit. I still got up before the sun and had breakfast a bit into hiking. I was in a hurry today as I had to get to Mazama Village before they closed at seven pm and it was twenty nine miles plus a small side trail.

The day was as smokey as last evening, which is to say, very. Due to the many downed trees in the area the trail was somewhat of an obstacle course having to either circumnavigate, step over, or limbo under. This type of limbo, in contrast to the one played at festive times occasions, does allow you to bend forward instead of leaning back and use trekking poles for balance. It does involve a heavy backpack on your back, though. Gradually, both the smoke and blowdowns rarefied, and unexpectedly a nice view of a mountain side opened up.

Around eleven am I took my usual pre lunch break (the one with a large bar of chocolate and optionally tortillas) and looked at the GPS app which got me a bit worried as I would arrive just thirty minutes before closing time at the store. I had to quicken up.

A bit after I had gotten going again the smoke started to intensify again and the trail led into a huge burn area. In some parts amongst tye parge burned pines there were small pines growing like Christmas trees seminal to undoing the damage massive damages. In the more central parts of the burns there were also remnants of both small and large pines that had burned. Evidently, there had been a large fire and maybe two or three years later a fire had ravaged the same area. This doubly burned area was nothing like the numerous other burned sections that the trail had transversed. Never had it been burned so deeply. It was if there had been a giant bun fire stretching for miles and we were now walking amongst the burned out remains. No branches remained on the burned trees. They just stood there like giant dead black pillars. The dirt was grey, whitish, or a light muted yellow color where small fragments of unburned tree remained. Along the trail some regrown grass was seen and very occasionally a flowering plant. Other than that the region was utterly dead. The smoke from the distant fires only added to the eerie and austere scenery. After having walked in the area for a while I thought that this was a brilliant vision of how a post-apocalyptic world could look like. Be it from massive global warming or nuclear annihilation. Though the place vas visually striking, it was also sad. What about the rabbits, squirrels, birds, and deer that could have inhabited the premises? Additionally, was this part of nature or man made/aggravated? Was it a from a thunder striking or was it a camp fire gone wrong, global warming, or even arson?

At a late lunch I had made much progress and it looked like I would be in Mazama Village an hour early. I was, however, also getting quite tired already, and thought I wouldn’t be able to keep up the pace. I had tuna on tortillas as often. It had a bit of Nutella taste, though, as I hadn’t properly cleaned the spoon. Not too badly tasting, though. I had actually been eating a lot of food as I had carried enough for an additional day.

Anyways, some hours after resuming hiking, the trail eventually left the burned area as it neared Mazama Village. The smoke was as intense as ever and it was starting to irritate mu eyes a bit. It wasn’t making me cough, but somehow, it just felt wrong that there was so much of it. It was only half past five, so it worked out. Shortly after, however, I found out that the opening hours actually was to nine pm, so I had much more time than expected. I might have misread or looked at some old opening hours. Who cares. There was still plenty of things to do. I got no less than three packages and an envelope from the store. That was food, new food bag, new shoes, and new camera bag. I think I will try to make the shoes I have now last two hundred miles more so the last ones could get me to Canada and I wouldn’t have to change shoe type again. That would mean carrying an extra pair of shoes for a while, though. I charged my phone and battery pack. I alsospent some time modding my new camera bag to make it like the one that I was throwing away as the zippers were broken. Then I had a shower and went to a restaurant where I had a burger, a beer, and a piece of peach cobbler. That was really nice. I had expected to get a pear cobbler as I had misread it as that. It was still good, though. I had once made the exact same mistake while reading the recipe of a peach and blueberry cobbler and decided to make it with pears. Whoops. I am getting side tracked. Anyways, I made it to Mazama in time, I am ready for the next stretch, clean, well fed, and content. It has gotten late, again. The smoke had cleared up a drastically in the evening hours. Hopefully that will mean nice views of Crater Lake tomorrow.

This days miles: 1793-1822

Categories: Pacific Crest Trail

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