Mile #1833, Mazama Village, Crater Lake National Park

I’ve realized, from reading my last two entries, that most of my writing has been about food and most of you are now convinced that I’m starving, insane, or both.  Since I’m just about through packing down a buffet at the Mazama Village Cafeteria, I’m going to do my best to tell you all more about trail and ease up on the food porn (food porn = talking about food in a lustful manner).

At the summit of McLaughlin
At the summit of McLaughlin

It looks like my little group is starting to spread itself out some.  Team Sherpa is a little ways behind me, perhaps a half day or so.  It turned out that on their arrival to Hyatt Lake, a family that Optimist was talking to offered the use of their cabin for the night.  They made Sherpa breakfast the next morning and consequently, they fell behind NoCar and I, who had left Hyatt Lake before the friendly family arrived.  We camped under some pines by Howard Prairie Lake’s outlet canal.  A cabin would have been nicer.

The next day, NoCar and I both camped at Frye Lake, where NoCar’s friend Chris finally met up with him.  They’re both Canadian and do adventure racing together (I think).  I climbed Mt McLoughlin the following morning, a seven-mile side trip.  NoCar moved ahead with Chris, so he is now 1/2 a day ahead of me.

There’s not too much to say about the trail, honestly.  Keeping to the crestline, the PCT in Southern Oregon often bypasses the best scenery, and sticks to hot, flat and dry forests with no views.  The iPod helps to cut boredom on the non-scenic stretches, but I’ve also been throwing in some side trips to make the trail more palatable.  The best side trip so far has been the climb up Mt McLoughlin, a 9,400-foot dormant stratovolcano that towers up over Fish Lake.  It was my first time atop a volcano and, like Whitney, I left early in the morning to see the sunrise.  I took a lot of pictures, so hopefully one of them is good enough to make the blog.  I’m planning a few more side trips, including Mt Theilsen and a trip along Crater Lake’s rim.  The “official” PCT through Crater Lake, which NoCar has deemed “a bag of poop,” passes far below the rim, offering no views of the lake at all.

Plan Ice Cream is now in full swing.  I successfully used the campground stores at Hyatt and Fish Lake to stock up on snacks.  Now, however, it’s 300+ miles to Cascade Locks on the border with Washington.

Jasper, Chris, NoCar, Greta (foreground)
Hanging out at Mazama Village: Jasper, Chris, NoCar, Greta (foreground)

I’m not planning any town stops along the way and so I’ll be fully dependent on campground stores for breakfast, lunch, and dinners.  It’s definitely risky.  Will I find a good selection or will I end up eating POP Tarts and Kraft Mac & Cheese for the next two weeks?  At least I’ll have no problems finding beer and marshmallows.

Note: Hot spots of feet are gone.  It helps to wash one’s socks now and again or get new ones.

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