Just before I was about to fall asleep yesterday I heard a woman screaming and immediately thought about bears. But my ears had betrayed me. It wasn’t a woman, it was a bear box squeaking as it was being opened, which I realized as it was being closed again. There was actually also quite a bit of noise from a few hikers who didn’t care about hiker midnight, so my
Sleep could’ve been better. Anyways, I slept in a bit as I wasn’t in a great hurry to get anywhere. I still need to make it to Canada, but that is not the next couple of days. He he. I had breakfast in front of the Mazama store. I was waiting for it to open to possibly buy a soft drink or something similar. A cool looking large black and blue birds landed to grab water from a sink. I said “look at that bird”. Naturalist, who incidentally was sitting nearby said that they were so common that they were just a nuisance around here. He was planning to make it to the border of Washington before he had to get a plane home and resume his studies. He was pushing on even though his foot had started hurting. Four minutes till seven, which was four minutes before the store was scheduled to open, there wasn’t any activity in the store, so I got impatient and hiked out.
Mazama Village was in Crater Lake National Park and close to said crater, which is the caldera of an extinct volcano. The official PCT goes nowhere near the crater rim and is rarely traversed by through hikers because who would want to miss seeing Crater Lake? I had an additional excuse for not taking the official route as the official route was closed as far as I know due to a fire last year. The alternative route and much more popular route was the “Rim Trail”. The trail started by climbing 1100 feet up to the rim of the crater. There air was still fairly clear like yesterday, so you could make out the contours of the nearby rim and Wizards Island within Crater Lake. Wizards Island is itself also a volcano, so you have a volcano within a volcano. Volcanoception! (No I don’t think that referencing “Inception” is dated). It would have been a cooler sight without the remaining smoke, but I think it still was pretty cool and probably much better than it would have looked the last couple of days.
There was a long dry stretch ahead so I filled up five liters of water in my bottles and bladders. That, in addition to my new shoes and food made my pack quite heavy. Anyways, while doing that a nearby shop/restaurant opened up. I had a second breakfast there together with two other hikers that I had bumped into a couple of times before, Icebear and Red. That is to say, I had a cherry coke and some chocolate milk along with some of my energy bars, as I really had a lot of food.
The Rim Trail continued along or close to the rim and offered more nice views of the lake before it eventually led us back to the official PCT. Near that was a cache. I hadn’t relied on it, as I would have been able to make it without additional water if I really had had to, but the one liter I added there made things a bit nicer.
The next section of trail was in a pine forest and extraordinarily flat. Aside from when the trail was following the desert floor, I think this is the flattest I have seen it. For once it was overcast and not just smokey. Further,it wasn’t too hot and there were no winds, so hiking was comfortable and easy, but unfortunately time was running out. I had the option of pushing on to a late camping and potentially missing some great views or camping early as there was a steeper stretch with limited camping coming up. I chose the early camping.
I only did twenty three miles today, which disappointed me, but nevertheless it was a nice and interesting day today.
This days miles: 1822-1849 (the alternative route was shorter than this)