Day 127: Little Crater Lake

August 19, 2017: Hiked Miles 2052.5 to 2080.2 (27.7 total)

We woke up to another chilly morning. Hot coffee never tasted so good. Even if it is Nescafe. I hiked with my gloves, sweater, and beanie on until after 10:00 it was so cold. Every once in a while we would pop out of the trees into an open meadow and the sun felt so good beating against my face.

But then after a few seconds of warmth, back into the green tunnel we would go. 

We passed through a small section that had these ferns:

I grew up in Mendocino county and our property was covered in these type of ferns and it brought back great memories of my childhood that was spent roaming freely on our many acres. 

The morning was pretty uneventful. Colton listened to his current audiobook, The Lost City of Z, and I just spent my morning fantasizing about life, daydreaming, and soaking in the beauty of our surroundings. I find my mind constantly jumping back and forth from being in utter bliss of the nature we’re walking through and beauty we get to see, to making up stories in my head about my future. And then we’ll hit a hill and my mind will go blank and I’ll focus everything on pushing myself up the hill and usually repeat some silly phrase or part of a song over and over again in my head. I used to run all the time before starting the trail and I would always get some dumb phrase or random words or numbers stuck in my head, repeating them over and over on my runs. I was surprised when the same thing started happening hiking, especially on the hard parts. It’s like my mind has to distract itself or concentrate on one thing to push through. The human mind is such an interesting thing. 

At one point in the morning we passed this written on a signpost:

I thought it was so fitting because last night when we were eating dinner with Cole, we were talking about how there will never be a right time to do the things you love. There were always be excuses or reasons that the timing is not right, but it never will be. And that’s why you have to do things now, because otherwise they will never happen. This is the time, I think that’s my new favorite quote .

We hiked a long ways before lunch to reach water and finally ended up at a horse camp, right off the trail. It was perfect. We found a cozy spot to sit against some logs, there was a pit toilet, trashcan, spigot, and we got to spend our lunch listening to and watching horses. 

We relaxed for a couple hours since we had less than nine miles to go after lunch to camp and finally got up and hiked on. I listened to a podcast that I just recently started listening to called Jammed Up. It’s a cool podcast, commentated by a couple guys from our hometown of Redding. They pretty much just BS back and forth and interview interesting people. It’s oriented around outdoor activities, but it’s just entertaining, funny, and lighthearted. Disclaimer: it’s usually semi-inappropriate. Your grandma might not like it.

So I’m sure by now you all know about this eclipse happening in a few days. If not. turn your news on. The last time it happened was 80 years ago and won’t happen again for another 90 or something. And the perfect viewing spot on the whole planet just happens to be right where we are at in Oregon. So people are going crazy. Oregon is expecting an influx of a couple million tourists this weekend. Hotels are basically booked up unless you want to pay half your yearly salary for the weekend, the highways are packed, and cities in the area are running out of gas and food. The trail has been packed the past few days with people camped out all weekend to have a good spot for the eclipse. It’s crazy. These tourists must have thought the PCT was paved:

We’ve already passed the ideal viewing spot which will get the maximum amount of total coverage, but I’m glad we’ll be out of the madhouse even if it means not having the perfect vantage point. We’ll still get to see it, and not have to worry about getting stuck in an eclipse-viewing moshpit.

After lunch we passed Timothy Lake, which had music blaring and tents set up all along the massive lake from eclipse campers. 

At one point I got a whiff of a bbq and almost had a heart attack it smelled so good. 

And then we came upon Little Crater Lake, which is actually not a crater at all, but an artesian spring that has formed a pond that resembles the real Crater Lake due to its depth and color. 

The water is so clear that you can see all the way down to its base, 45 feet below. and the trees that have fallen into it. In the summer the water is a whopping 34 degrees. Colton wanted to get some underwater gopro footage and had to sacrifice his feet to do so. 

Probably brings back great memories from the Sierras!

We were so amazed at the water’s beauty and clarity. 

We finally pulled ourselves away from the lake’s beauty and finished off the last four miles of our day. 

Creative signpost we saw a mile or so before camp:

Better be on the lookout tonight. 

We made it to our camp at dusk and found it pretty packed. We squeezed our tent into the flattest spot we could find and ate dinner as it started to get dark. I tried a new kind of Top Ramen: Sirracha Chicken. Not bad, reminded me of a spicier version of Spaghettios.

Now we’re in our tent listening to weird noises coming from down the trail. Hopefully it’s not the Yeti coming for us. 


11 thoughts on “Day 127: Little Crater Lake

  1. So glad to read your latest updates. Love the Yeti sign and, as always, your comedic writing style. Hopefully you’ll not have any more fire detours, even though you’ve made the best of the situation.


  2. Remember, tomorrow to look. Down through the trees,not up. And remember your flashlight. You are probably most prepared for the eclipse. The good thing is you should be back to a lonely trail after this event is over. Loving the updates. Looking forward to your cool experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jenn: the fern is the western sword fern, and yes they were all over our beautiful Mendocino property. Colton: Hope you are enjoying The Lost City of Z. I read it this summer and then saw the movie. Both very well done and brought back great memories of trekking through the Amazon (Ukayali and Maranon rivers in Peru in the Amazon’s upper watershed) for a week, when I turned 50. Jenn: Agree completely with you about “This is the time”. I have officially decided to retire. Dawn and I are going to hike the 500 mile “El Camino del Santiago” in Spain next year. Can’t wait!!! Care to join us 60 year olds?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The great thing is that you only carry about 15 pounds because you hike from village to village and sleep in locale’s homes every night and dine in a different village daily! My kind of trekking!

        Liked by 1 person

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