Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day 97, Did you say pancakes?

Daily mileage: 24.5
Mile 1773-1797.5

Well let's see, I could hike 28-30 miles today and tomorrow I would have to hike 26-28 miles to get to Mazama Village at Crater Lake. And knowing my speed I wouldn't get there until way late. Or I could make today and tomorrow way slower and just get to Crater Lake early Thursday. I need a few hours at the store to resupply anyway so I was liking my lazy days plan more and more. And then pancakes came into the picture and the decision was pretty much made. Okay let me explain, about 8 miles into today's hike the trail crosses highway 140 and 2 miles down the road is the Fish Lake Resort. A hiker friendly place with a restaurant and I was hoping milkshakes.

I woke up and quickly discovered that the seasonal stream nearby was dry. I knew this might have been true but I had been hoping otherwise. So 8 dry miles to start my day. The trail did its usual winding through forest and regularly popping you out into open spaces bit. Only instead of meadows it was fields if mostly volcanic rock which was a little different.

While pretty my morning was just sort of ho-hum. I was in a strange mood and kept fixating on this idea of milkshakes and pancakes because I wasn't really feeling the trail. But I decided to wait until I got to the highway to make my decision. I got there and stalled for a bit knowing Wrong Way couldn't be far behind. Like I guessed he wasn't one to turn down cooked food, so after a bit of wandering on the highway we found a good spot to hitch and a few minutes later were on our way. The resort was open and soon enough I was eating pancakes and a chocolate shake. Successful morning. Getting back to the trail, not as successful. Wasted a long time trying to hitch and ended up just walking up the highway in the baking sun. Oh well, breakfast was still worth it.
I said goodbye to Wrong Way and began my torturously slow climb up the mountain. Was the trail steep? Nope I just had zero willpower to speed up, so I didn't. With this crazy slow attitude I was rather surprised to run into Wrong Way later that afternoon. There had been sketchy guy on the trail earlier and he wanted to make sure I was okay. Which I totally appreciated. I guess I have a campsite partner until Crater Lake, still hiking alone but camping in the same vicinity as each other.

After the twin lakes junction where we got some lovely yellow colored water we headed out. Just a few short miles later is Christi's spring, it may not look like much in the photo but it was some of the tastiest water I've had recently.

A view of 4 mile lake as the mosquitoes started to come out.

A little after 7 we passed a second junction for red canyon and I felt a bit defeated because I thought we had only come 21 miles today, shorter than even I wanted. Turns out one of the intersections wasn't listed on my map (guthook this is starting to become a habit...). Either way the mosquitoes were getting hellacious and I figured 21 or 22 miles made no difference so amidst swarms of mosquitoes we made camp.
Once I'd actually settled down and sat eating dinner while hiding in my tent I figured out we had actually camped at 1697.5 not 1694.5. Which was good except now it's 31.5 miles to Crater Lake. Hmm back to the what time of day do I want to get there question... I should have kept hiking but those bugs really make you crazy! Well let's see what tomorrow brings.

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