Started: Crater Lake National Park (1820.9)
Ended: Stealth Camp (1852.0)
Total Miles: 31.1
Achievements: Thirty Miles (1), Crater Lake
I have had a deep desire to visit Crater Lake. It was the image on my desktop at work. I put together puzzles of it. I find it fascinating. Today I was going to see it with my own eyes.
I met up with Patches and we hiked up to it together. She was meeting others for breakfast, so I went the rest of the way alone.
I reached the top and was terribly disappointed. Smoke was obscuring the whole lake. One of the biggest moments on the PCT, and it was ruined.
I found that there was another hiker there. He name was Goldilocks. She was crying. This was one of her special moments on trail as well. She hiked up last night and stealth camped, because you are not allowed to sleep there.
She is a professional photographer, and she so wanted to photograph the lake. I gave her a pep talk as best I could. I decided to not even look at the lake anymore. I committed to myself that I’ll visit it again, and that time will be the first time I visited it.
Needless to say, I was no longer motivated to hike. The trail was up and down, and I was back to my old slow hiking pace of one mile and hour.
The trail provides.
Three hikers came up to me. Monster, Cheezit, and Hef were moving at a good clip. I naturally started talking with them. We got along splendidly. I started to haul. Before I knew it, some serious miles were getting done.
We ran into some trail magic. Monster and Cheezit are from Chicago, and needed to get off trail for a wedding. I may never see them again. Goldilocks came up and gave me a big hug for cheering her up. Hef and I bounded up the hill.
I ended up doing over 30 miles. Not to bad for a once old, fat and slow hiker.
It is pretty amazing how quickly a bad day can turn into a good one.