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Tagged With: Crater Lake

Day 130: The Only Way Out is Through

September 7, 2015
Snow Lake (2313.0) to Bear Gap Trail Junction (2337.2)
24.2 PCT miles today
2371.8 miles total
Today’s Elevation Gain/Loss: + 5,276 ft, – 3,932 ft

Image 3This morning was a rough one. Pickles and I had had enough of the rain, but clearly Washington had not. We woke up in a cloud, packed up a soaking wet tent, and then silently hiked the first few hours of the day clad in soggy raingear and carrying our umbrellas, a state of being that was becoming far too common. The grey was getting us down and multiple times throughout the morning I caught myself wondering if I’d ever see the sun or blue skies ever again. Amazingly, the weather took an incredible turn for the better around lunchtime, and the second half of the day was spent in much better spirits than the first.

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Day 105: Fire and Water

August 13, 2015
Hwy 62 – Mazama Village (1829.5) to Forest Road 961 (1853.1)
23.6 PCT miles today, 1 non-PCT miles today
1895.4 miles total
Today’s Elevation Gain/Loss: + 2,374 ft, – 2,771 ft

Image 25

As it turns out, all the confusion and concern surrounding the fire and whether we could hike today was greatly influenced by a subtle misunderstanding between us thru-hikers and the Forest Service and Park Rangers. The word on the street ever since we arrived at Mazama Village yesterday afternoon was that the closure of the PCT was imminent and that it would be reckless to head out on the trail since the fire had recently come within 3 miles of it. That seemed convincing enough to us, and we were ready to come up with a Plan B this morning once we heard definite news that the trail had indeed been closed. What we hadn’t understood, and what the people calling the shots hadn’t thought to clarify, was that the only trail in danger of being closed was what us hikers call the “equestrian trail”, not the “hiker trail” that we had all intended to take in the first place. The “hiker trail” is the “unofficial” alternate that everyone takes because it walks along the rim of Crater Lake and offers a full day worth of views. So in the end, our trail stayed open and we were able to hike on, after being delayed a mere 4 hours in the morning. It turned out to be a memorable and picturesque day of hiking along the somewhat steep rim of Crater Lake, gawking at the incredible pool of blue to our right and the large plumes of smoke off to our left.

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