Pacific Crest Trail Journals

Hyatt Lake to Crater Lake

August 8 – August 11, 2010

After taking a zero with my parents I’d planned to say goodbye and hit the trail while they went to RV camp somewhere else. But the comfort of having a bed to sleep in for another night was too irresistible so we arranged for them to relocate the RV to Fish Lake, which was about 30 trail miles from where I’d gotten off of the PCT, and have me meet them there after a day of hiking. After breakfast in the RV I hit the trail. The PCT made a noticeable turn north today just after passing by Howard Prairie. The trail, still heading east at this point, climbed to the side of a butte then seemed to slingshot around its east side before heading out almost straight north towards Mt McLoughlin, the rest of the Cascade Range, and Canada. The hiking in this area is representative of some of my least favorite in Oregon: relatively flat, forested, with no views to speak of. As I approached the highway leading to Fish Lake I was greeted by my parents and our beagle walking down the trail towards me. We headed back to the RV where I got a couple more home cooked meals and another night in a bed before returning to the trail in earnest, although it was less than 300 miles before I’d see them again at our family’s cabin near Mt. Hood.

From Fish Lake it was hardly even two full days of hiking to Crater Lake. Along the way I ran into Wyoming, who I hadn’t seen since Carson Pass in Central California, and met other hikers who I’d never seen before, which seems amazing given how long we’d all been on the trail at this point. Before climbing to the rim of Crater Lake I headed into Mazama Village to pick up a resupply package and buy some chocolate milk.

When I left Mazama Village I only needed to be carrying about 4 or 5 days of food to get me to my next planned resupply location: Sisters, OR. But I didn’t have 4-5 days of food when I left there, I probably had over 8. Spending extra unplanned time with my parents had left me with a surplus of food, my resupply package at Mazama Village had extra food in it because I’d budgeted for taking time to do some climbing on the Three Sisters that was no longer going to happen, and the hiker box at Mazama Village was so well stocked that I raided it mercilessly, despite already carrying more food than I needed. As a result of all this I probably left Mazama Village with around 20 pounds of food and didn’t end up resupplying again until I got off the trail near my cabin, some 250+ miles later on.

So, with a heavy pack, I lumbered out of Mazama Village in the afternoon and crawled up to the rim of Crater Lake. I’d planned on camping on the west side of the rim so that I could catch the sunrise over the lake the next morning so I took my time hiking for the rest of the day and eventually arrived at the Wizard Island Overlook just past dark. I threw out my pad in an island of bushes amidst the paved over viewing area and went to sleep as the last glows of the sun faded on the horizon.

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