Day 88: Crater Lake.

August 6th, 2021

Mile Marker: 1853.9

Miles Hiked Today: 34

Thankfully Journey set his alarm for 5 am this morning because it was still incredibly dark out. I wasn’t set on actually waking up when I heard it but I knew we had yet another big day today.

This one was going to be a good one too… today was Crater Lake day!!

We started out with our puffy jackets on as the temperatures were cold and I could see my breath this morning. It was quite the change up and I felt ready for it. Being a little bit cold makes for some good hiking weather. Also we very quickly realized that the smoke had faded away or the wind had blown it in a different direction and we could now see far out into the mountains!

I’m not sure entirely what it was, but the mix of the sunrise, the chilly temperatures, and the wood burning smell coming from the past wildfire trees had my senses reminding me of Ethiopia. An early crisp Ethiopian morning where I went for a run before anyone woke up and came back to some of the women making injera.

It made me smile and I wanted to bask in that moment forever. I hiked on and took deep breaths and gently closed my eyes for a second.

Ahhhhh, this was just such a good memory.

It’s crazy how much smells can bring you back to a place. What a feeling.

We were hiking quickly this morning because we only had 10 miles to get to Crater Lake.

We arrived earlier than we had expected and went to their general store to stock up on food for 2 days. The prices were redonkulous but we had to resupply and it was our only option. I hate when places jack up the prices so much!

We finished our resupply and then decided that we were going to hitch up closer to the lake. We got a ride almost immediately by a lovely couple who were out in California for a wedding and taking little detours along the way.

We chit chatted about the PCT and they told us they both served in the military. Eventually they asked us what we do for work and I typically dread this question.

I sometimes let society get to me and feel like I should have a career by now at 28. I sometimes feel the pressure of settling down and having a career than what I am doing.

But ultimately I know that I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing and that I am happy with what I have done.

Sometimes thoughts come in loops and I have to take a second to process it again and remind myself why I am doing what I am doing and that it’s okay to be living a different lifestyle.

There is no right way to life. It can be whatever you want it to be. I just have to remind myself that every now and then.

We got out of our hitch and saw Joe, Goldie, Five Star, and Recyclops eating at a cafe. Here we were thinking we weren’t going to see each other again but since we had gotten off trail for Planner, we caught back up to them.

It was nice chatting with them and then we started the Crater Lake Trail. This trail was an alternate to the PCT and would link back up after 9 miles.

The lake was magnificent.

I couldn’t get enough of it.

I just haven’t seen anything like this. Truly, it was so incredible!!

We ended up stopping a couple miles in to sit and have lunch with a gorgeous view of the lake. Food and a view, what more do you need?

I was so happy that we took this alternate route. I couldn’t imagine missing this!

We hiked on for 9 miles and rejoined with the PCT around 2 pm. Where the trail rejoined, we were able to fill up our water on a water cache. It was wild to be next to such a big lake and then be in such a dry area elsewhere. Once again, we were eternally grateful for the people who provide these caches. Such a life saver!

We hiked on for a while through flat elevation and were hiking from cache to cache to ensure we had water.

We crossed paths with a south bounder and he let us know that there was trail magic at the highway we were about to cross.

It helped motivate us to hike faster and see what it was all about.

We met an older man and woman who have transformed their van into a living space and travel around. Their grandson is hiking the PCT and they were out on the highway waiting to surprise him. How stinking cool is that? The woman (Susie) gave us a tour of their van, excited to be showing it off to us thru hikers who would appreciate it.

They cooked us hot dogs and gave us beer before we had to hike on into the night. I left them thinking about how fun Susie was and hoped that I would be like her when I get older.

We hiked on to another cache for another small break before hiking 5 more miles into the night.

My elated feeling leaving the trail magic started to slowly dwindle. I was becoming extremely tired as the sun disappeared. Hiking 35 miles daily was slowly starting to take its tole as we had to wake up early and get into camp late. It made me feel like I was on an emotional roller coaster as the long days were piling up.

We arrived up on a beautiful ridge for our camp spot. I quickly set up my tent and am ready for sleep and hopefully a beautiful sunrise.

Iz and Oz

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