PCT SOBO DAY 43 – crater lake

Tent site – tent site 
24.1 miles. 2557ft up. 2641ft down. 

The boys were camped far enough away from me but the sound of them moving about on their air mattresses was so loud. It kept waking me up. Or I kept waking up and hearing them move about. I think I moved about a lot last night, my bag was all twisted around me and my pillow was never under my head when I woke up. 

The alarm went off at 6 and as I was packing up a guy passed me heading south. I was too bleary eyed to register who it was and said a brief hello as he hiked by. I made my way up the trail to meet the Rim trail. I saw that guys pack on the side of the trail, I guessed he had gone to the water cache. I still had a litre. That would be fine. 

The trail was all uphill and it was a slog through deep sand/dust to start with. The guy came blazing past me. It was Grim. He asked me if I was ok and I barely had time to say yes before he was too far ahead to hear. I might see him again in Mazama. 

It was a cold start but the uphill made me warm pretty quickly. I stopped for a quick wee and delayered. As I went back into the shade it was cold and it made me hike faster. I could see the sun ahead of me and just concentrated on getting there. 

I made it into the sun and onto the rim of crater lake. I wished I had got up earlier to see the sun rise. Oh well. The lake is always beautiful and it always looks so blue. I made my way around the rim and I get to a lookout and see Grim. We hike together for a while and I quiz him about the CDT. We then come across Stringbean. He had camped a bit before me but got up super early for the sunrise. We all went out onto the lookout rock. 

We carried on together around the rim and they would leave me behind when we went up the hills, but I would catch them up when they stopped. We made it to the Rim Village and sat in the cafe. There was no ice cream and no decent food so we decided to continue on the 4 miles to Mazama Village, and away from all the tourists asking us questions like “have you seen wild?” And “are you carrying a laptop?”

We descended down the Annie Creek trail to get there, when I arrived Grim was eating an ice cream so my first stop was to the shop to get an ice cream sandwich and a chocolate milk (and to check my card worked – it did). The chocolate milk was 540 calories! I need them! 

There were so many nobos there, literally everywhere. Grim got his resupply box – a gift from his colleagues – which was enormous. It contained 16 dinners! So he kindly shared it with me as I didn’t bother sending anything here and I was just going to get to Ashland powered on candy and chocolate again. 

I am now carrying peanut butter and this chicken in a packet which I picked up in a hiker box which might have been a mistake. Parmesan and bacon bits. Slim jims. Honey buns. And a random selection of bits from the store. 

Once we had sorted out all the resupply we headed over to the restaurant for some real food. On the way we spoke to some southbounders. Candy Cane, Hollywood from Germany and a guy who started south from Rainy Pass. More people I’ve caught up to. Maybe I’m doing alright. So 6 southbounders all in one place, that’s a lot! And I’ve heard the ‘Wolf Pack’ who I’ve been trying to track down for the last 6 weeks are now behind me, well at least 2 of them are anyway. 

Grim, Stringbean and I ate real food, I had a fish finger sandwich, fries and 4 glasses of Sprite. I realised that I hadn’t needed a wee since I went this morning. And even now after all that liquid I still didn’t need one. We chatted about the Sierra. And discussed skipping ahead. And not skipping ahead. As that’s all southbounders talk about when they get together. I had my age guessed at 27, and considering I’m about 10 days away from being 34 I’ll take that! 

There was the option to shower and do laundry, but with only 3 and a bit days to Ashland was there really any point? So we didn’t bother and got our stuff together and headed back on the trail. My pack is seriously heavy. With a food resupply and 2 litres of water it’s the heaviest it’s been for ages. Stringbean and I headed out to see if we could find the bushwhack to the road to get back to the trail. We were wandering about trying to find it when Grim comes along and charges up the near vertical hill. We follow and get to the road which we walk along a little way back to the trail. We make a plan to camp together, I’m sure they will both power on ahead of me tomorrow! 

I find a new use for my bandana of many uses. Making it wet and draping it around your neck keeps you cool. 

We encounter a few blowdowns. These must be some of the 700 blowdowns talked about by the nobos. These aren’t blowdowns! They are just logs that you can with walk around or step over!


We pass Hollywood and the boy whose name I can’t remember camped on the peak of a hill. Grim and I make it to camp at 7:15 and Stringbean appears a little later. Not bad mileage for a resupply day. It’s nice having a little trail family. Even if it’s only for one day. 

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I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Donate here.

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4 thoughts on “PCT SOBO DAY 43 – crater lake

  1. I have to chuckle at the way you refer to some of the hikers as “boys”. It sounds like a bunch of little kids are running around out there.

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  2. Crater Lake was a BIG time Trap for me. I really lingered along the Rim slowly moving north after the climb out from Mazama. You must have a higher tolerance for dirt than me, as no way could I not wash clothes and take a shower when at the Mazama Campground. 🙂

    BTW, the wet bandana cooling trick I learned a day out of Campo last year.

    Also, I think those step over blow downs were still there from last year, as I took lots of pictures of them. They were mostly north of Honeymoon Creek if I recall correctly.

    South of there, I ran into what is considered FS trail maintenance these days. One guy, with his handsaw, girl friend and a dog!

    They did the best they could. CW excuse you always hear.. “Budget constraints” We can borrow billions for wars and smart bombs, but barely a pittance for maintaining the National Trail System.

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