Day 125 7-28-07 Tarp Tent 5895′
Crater Lake Mazama CG – 1 mile past Old Summit Rock Road
23.2 miles; 1854.1 (65.46) total miles; 3712.3 trip miles
80’s, sunny Day 14 camped alone
Deer count is 108
Marmot count is 53
Elk count is 23
Bear count is 7
Rattlesnake count is 6
Pika count is 2
Badger count is 1
I woke up around 6 AM to the sounds of some young child cry off in another loop of the campground. I got out of bed at 6:30 and was packed and at the store just as they opened. As I was paying for my breakfast, the lady asked for my ID. When she saw my name, she told me Lorrie had called and had both my packages! That meant new shoes. I was so happy. Lorrie showed up around 10 past 8. She even filled out a new label for the other box going back to my folks. Once again, she went beyond the call of duty. I got going around 8:30; but unfortunately I didn’t read the guide book and didn’t know about the strenuous climb I had to face to get to the rim. Lucky for me I dumped some of the water I had planned on taking. I figured I would fill up at the lodge at the rim. I got to the rim and right away I saw the shear sides of the walls around the lake. I didn’t see the lake until I got closer.
If I have my facts right it’s about 5 miles wide and is 31 miles around, the average depth is 1500, while the max is 1934′, the water temp average is 38 degrees, and the water level only varies by 3′. The mountain, Mt. Mazama, was around 12000′ high before it collapsed in on itself 7700 years ago. After it spit out the magna from inside, it couldn’t hold itself up and this is why it collapsed. The eruption was 100 times that of Mt. St. Helens in 1980. Over the years, it filled with rain and snow melt, and that is why it’s so clear. It’s so clear in 1997 they could see 143′ down. I read more but that should do.
Later a day hiker told me the white man didn’t find the lake until the 1870’s. I went to the rim first and took in the sight before me. It was amazing. The water is so clear and blue. I made my way to the bathrooms to fill up and I choose the ones that were closed. Off I went in search of open ones. I found them, filled up, and charged my phone. I went back to the rim to read some of the signs they have. I also went down to a look out and watched a short video about how the crater was formed. On the way out I saw Andrea and David, who were camped next to me. Andrea asked me if I got my shoes and I excitingly said yes.
I left them shortly to get going since I had a lot of miles to do. I followed the rim clockwise to the north and what a tough trail. It was filled with steep climbs and it was hot as hell. The only saving grace was the view to my right. I passed Discovery Point, Lightening Spring, and the Wizard Island overlook. At the overlook a cyclist told me what happened in the Tour! Just past the overlook, I found a shady spot and had lunch. Just after I sat down I heard a noise and thought it was a bear. (I did see a marmot during lunch though) It turned out to be a guy named Mr. Cotton, who hiked the AT in 1991. He was out for a day hike and had cut cross-country to get to the rim. He hung with me while I ate and gave me a liter of water, then the two of us headed north. He turned off and went cross-country again to get back to the trail he had come from and I followed the PCT.
I picked up the equestrian PCT not long after crossing the Rim Drive. I was going through another desert section with the spaced out trees and met Katz, an older woman maybe in her 60’s. She was finishing a section she and her daughter skipped last year due to snow when they hiked WA and OR. She was with a guy about my age named Scott, Buck? Something was his trail name. A deer stole his pack and poles during the night while on his PCT thru-hike. He found one pole and someone else found the other and shipped it to him, but the pack and his camera inside it were never found! I met them separately, but the informed me they had left water at the next road. I dumped the extra I had to cut 4 pounds off my load. They mosquitoes were once again terrible between meeting them and the road. When I got to the road, I cooked and filled up. I cross Highway 138 and hiked another 1.6 miles to camp. I had a few crazy sections during the 1.6 where the mosquitoes were insane. I was killing them left and right.
Scatman 2011- I can’t tell you how happy I was to get my shoes. Lorrie really went out of her way. Her kindness stuck with me a long time. It’s amazing on the trail when complete strangers go out of there way for you. That doesn’t happen so much in the city. It reminds you how big the human spirit can be.
The hiking was quite hard in the beginning but the views of the lake were simply mind blowing. I couldn’t stop looking at the lake. If you haven’t been I highly suggest going. It is crowded but very much worth the trip. The lake was another reminder of Mother Natures power. I saw her power daily with all that I saw but days like today really stood out.
Get out there!