Thursday, August 2, 2012

Day 102 - Crater Lake

After going the last mile up to the top of Crater Lake I found a water fountain, the last water along the trail for around 27 miles.  The trail goes around the rim of the crater between the road and the cliff.  It was a lot more up and down than I expected and combined with the excellent views the whole way, it was slow going.  I didn't see anyone else along the trail, just a bunch of cars driving between viewpoints.  I tried to not get in the way of people who didn't even want to get out of their cars and simply took pictures out their windows.  I managed to get through the viewpoints without any tourists stopping me for questions about where I was headed.  I don't mind talking to people about my hike, but it can get fairly repetitive with lots of people around, answering the same few questions everytime.  "Where are you hiking?  That's so far!  When did you start?  Alone!  What does your pack weigh?  What does your solar panel charge? How many bears have mauled you?"  I do kind of wish someone had asked where I was camping that night so I could point to Mt Thielsen off in the distance and say "Over on the side of that mountain way over there."

Beautiful weather + beautiful lake = beautiful pictures
There was a bit of snow on the north side of the rim. I also saw 6 deer on the hike around, Jon and I somehow managed to not see any during our 3 days together.

Mt Bailey, Diamond Lake, Diamond Peak, Mt Thielsen and way off in the distance, South Sister.
I made my way down the hill and across a huge, flat stretch to the highway where Jon had left the jug of water. I found it easily, hidden under a small tree off the side of the trail. Thanks to him, I didn't have to go all the way to the far side of Thielsen to get water for dinner, or go to bed thirsty. For how flat, dry and boring this area was, there were a ton of mosquitos. I have no idea why they choose to hang out among all these tall, thin pine trees, but it keeps hikers motivated and moving.

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