PCT DAY 110: Mile 1811.5- Mile 1837
Monday August 1, 2016: 25.5 Miles (41 km)
DISPATCH FROM THE BIG AGNES HILTON
What a glorious day. I love walking in the early morning, it was cool and after the first couple of miles the trail was clear of trees. The trail was soft underfoot and the going was easy. The Oregon mosquitos were still out in force but there was a burger to be had in Mazama Village. So life was good. The miles seemed to pass quickly and I was in Mazama Village just after 9am.
I got a chocolate milk from the store and picked up my resupply package and bought some more insect repellant. A shower, some clothes washed and about to eat a burger, does life get any better. Well it could, if Corky was here to share it with.
I have been watching helicopters fly by with water bags hanging from them. They are fighting the fire which has closed the PCT. Fortunately most hikers take the Rim Trail, which is an alternative to the PCT through this area and far more scenic.
I hiked out of Mazama Village with “Pathfinder” and the conversation flowed. We covered the 5 miles or so to the Crator Rim visitors centre quite quickly for me but probably standard pace for “Pathfinder”. We stopped to filter water as there is a 25 mile dry stretch ahead. We had to hurry as camping is not allowed on the Rim Trail and we had to get off the trail before dark. And there was a lot of smoke over the lake, another hiker told us to get moving as the Rim Trail may also be soon closed.
As we walked along the Rim Trail, the smoke got thicker and the helicopters got closer. We were lucky to just get through before the Rim Trail was closed. The smoke gave an otherworldly effect over the amazing blue colour of Crater Lake. It seems that the fire was burning right up to the edge of the lake. The road which runs nearby the trail was closed to traffic.
Pathfinder and I walked on to where the Rim trail joined the PCT. I was looking for the first camp spot and there was already a pack there belong to a female hiker, “Section B” who was a bit concerned about camping by herself. She is doing about 1,000 miles of the PCT. She started with a friend who after 4 days decided that hiking the PCT was not for her.
Pathfinder and I ended up camping here as the next indicated camp spot was 16 miles further on.
It was nice to have some company for the walk up the hill and around the Rim Trail and also at the camp spot.
More recently it seems many hikers passing me have border fever. They are so focused on getting to Canada and doing big miles that they do not want to spend any time slowing down to say more then hello and goodbye.
All up it felt like a pretty successful day. The battery was charged, clothes washed, resupply picked up and I had a shower. Making it through the fire area, before the trail closure, was a real bonus.
I am looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings.
CORKY – FROM THE RECOVERY LOUNGE
So far the weather in this part of Oregon, at this time of the year, is pretty much perfect. Cool in the morning, warm through the day and cooling off again in the afternoon. All under a brilliant blue sky all day long. It hurts me to be so grounded and unable to be out there making the most of this wonderful summertime setting. I am looking forward to ditching the crutches soon and slowly, slowly beginning to expand my homing range.