PCT Day 113 To Crater Lake 

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  8th August 2015

Mileage 12.5

Bushcamp (1824) to Lightning Springs (1836.5)

I walked into the restaurant at Mazama Village and spotted Teflon having breakfast with her boyfriend and her mother. I joined them. I’d just finished walking about 5 miles to get there from my overnight camp. When I first arrived at Mazama Village I looked around and briefly chatted with other hikers. I also enjoyed a quick 4 minute shower. I think the last 100 miles of hiking had made me dirtier than at any other time on the hike. Anyway, it felt good to have the shower prior to walking into the restaurant. It struck me that I might not see Teflon again on this hike as my hiking plans for the next several weeks differ from hers. Normally a hiker never says ‘Goodbye’ to another hiker. It’s not said. But I did say goodbye before I set off in the late afternoon. Oh and thanks to Teflons mother for breakfast and for the beer later in the day, very much appreciated.

It was 3pm when I started the long climb from Mazama Village to the rim of Crater Lake. Mr & Mrs Smith planned to leave later than me. I didn’t realise it was such a climb. It may have only been a little over 1100 feet but it seemed to last extraordinarily long. I feared I would arrive at the crater rim and the sun would be very low in the sky. I needn’t have worried about the sun getting low in the sky as the smoke from fires obscured the view. It was difficult to see the other side of the large crater that was once Mazama a large mountain. The volcanic mountain exploded and all that is left is the deepest lake in USA. Sure it’s big, but the smoke both inside the rim and all around failed to allow the place to show off its beauty. 

I hiked to Lightning Springs a campsite near the rim. I set up and crawled into bed, Mr & Mrs Smith arrived late as the sun was setting. They followed a little used trail rather than hiking he rim as I did.,Tomorrow morning I will give it one more chance as I wake early to watch the sunrise over the lake. Maybe the smoke might make for a great sunrise, maybe not, but I’m keen to give it a go. 


very smoky crater lake

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  1. Hi there! I am actually headed to Oregon on Thursday for my annual end-of-summer trip with my mother. We will be doing some light day hiking and are hoping to focus on photographing Oregon’s natural wonders. I’m curious if you think that’s a bad plan given the wildfires. Are they concentrated in a particular area? Or is the whole state effected? We don’t have any set plans, so we could head north from Portland instead… If we stick with Oregon, it would be fun to try to hook up with you and deliver some trail magic. We’ll be there for two weeks. If you can predict where you’ll be and know of a good meeting place, I’d love to try to make that happen!

    1. The South is certainly smokey, I can’t really speak for the North. There are also fires in Washington and I believe British Columbia is having a very hot dry summer. Would be great to catch up somewhere. Send me a private message on the contact me section of my site and we can swap phone numbers, I’m hiking quite fast at the moment, 28-35 miles per day. So moving through Oregon quite fast

  2. Always great to follow your foot-steps via your postings. Sure am proud to share your accomplishments on the PCT, and I can only imagine the adjustment you will have to make once you finish the journey. The feeling of being out with nature, the solitude, the comrade of fellow hikers, adjusting back to life off the trail will be a serious change. I do day and overnight hikes here in my area so I know the feeling of joy and calmness when spending time with nature. Gentle Footsteps.

    1. I don’t think I will struggle too much with normal life, for a while anyway. The PCT is only part of my journey. Within a couple of days of finishing I will be on my bicycle cycling to South America. No time, need or want to adjust to normal life just yet.

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