Day 124 7-27-07 Tarp Tent
Jack Spring – Crater Lake Mazama CG
13.9 (4) miles (65.46) total miles 3689.1 trip miles
Deer count is 108
Marmot count is 52
Elk count is 23
Bear count is 7
Rattlesnake count is 6
Pika count is 2
Badger count is 1
Today did not go as planned. I hoped to wake up, blast into Crater Lake, get my food and shoes, and hike out along the rim. What really happened is this:
I got up and was on the trail by 6 am, a first in a while. It was quite cold and my hands were really cold. The hiked started with a few rollers and then I hit a section called the “Oregon Desert”. It was flat, the ground was gravel and there were pine trees spaced out throughout. It was really odd looking. I finally hit the climb of the day after about 4 miles. I passed another hiker in their tent as I went up. Once up to the top, I stayed up high on a ridge which was nice. I had some nice views of Mt. Union to the west.
I came to a trail register at the junction of the Pumice Trail. I saw I was still a full day behind the closest thru-hiker. I next passed the turn off for Stuart Falls and began s short rolling climb to more desert like forest. I saw a baby deer and it’s mom. A few miles further along I passed the junction of Mt. Union, where the trail became super flat and made for easily walking. When I got to the road I followed directions left by the park to a side trail that would bring me to the camp store. I took the trail and upon reaching the store I got a Coke and some candy. I also got 4, not the 6 packages I was expecting. I got only two of the packages being forwarded from Seiad Valley and the 2 from my mom. Of course I was missing the new shoes I needed the most.
I bought myself to Red Baron microwavable pizzas and another Coke and had lunch while I figured out what to do. While eating a nice couple from Holland sat down near me. I offered them some cookies I couldn’t finish just to be nice and maybe break the ice towards getting a ride. They didn’t want any though. When they were leaving the husband asked what I was doing and I was able to get a ride to the PO 4 miles down the road with them.
When I got to the PO the postmaster, Lorrie, was the most helpful postmaster I’ve met yet. After many phone calls I found out all 4 of the boxes left Seiad Valley at the same time. 2 of them must have not gotten on the same truck as the other two. I talked to Lorrie and she said she would be dropping off any packages she had around 8 am at the store. She also said she would call my cell phone to let me know either way if she had them or was going to forward them. Oh, and she was going to call the store to see if someone would go outside before they opened and let me know if she had my shoes! I couldn’t believe it. So that made up my mind to stay at the CG back near the store.
I hung out a while out front of the visitor center, but I never made much of a connection with anyone to ask for a ride back the 4 miles to the campground. I waited until five of three when the PO closed and started walking. I hoped that with Lorrie being so friendly she might pick me up as well. I walked about halfway to the CG and she came by and sure enough picked me up. She is the greatest!
I got to the campground and now had to find a site. You had to find one yourself and then come back and tell the people at the gate which one and pay. They gave me a ton of options where I could look for tent sites, but I asked if by chance they knew of any open ones since I had done enough useless running around. The site the lady sent me to was full so I had to go three loops over to the D loop and found an open spot. When I got all the way back to the gate, they said D6 was taken. I couldn’t believe it. Back out looking I went. I found another, E45. This time it was not taken.
I hauled my stuff down there and setup camp. I did some planning and emails then headed up to the store to do laundry and shower. While doing laundry, I met a couple from Cape Cod, who had just moved to Bend, OR. (Their names where Mike and Susan.) They invited me to come by their site for a few beers later. I went to the restaurant after my clothes were done. I got the buffet and pigged out, though I forgot to get desert.
I realized while eating I had left my solar panel next to some rocks right on the road across from my site. I headed back to find it, if it was still there. It was to my relief. I then met David and Andrea who were camped next to me. I had chatted them up while at the front gate earlier. We talked a while then I headed to Mike and Susan’s site.
I hung out there for 2 hours and had a couple beers and shot the shit. Both couples were extremely friendly and reminded me of the joys of camping/hiking. Around 10:40 I had to go and headed back to sleep.
Scatman 2011- I was crushed when my shoes didn’t arrive. But thanks to Lorrie my mind was put some what at ease. I think she could tell I was in need of someone telling me my packages would be there the next day if I just waited. She didn’t say it was a 100% sure thing but she convinced me enough. Though I was looking to get out of Crater Lake fast I had a busy day and enjoyed the down time best I could. It was really nice to meet so many nice people. It had been a while since I interacted with others on a personal level. It was a nice change.
Get out there!