Day 104: East Rim Road Walk

Memories from August 2

Alarm was set for 4am. I didn’t hear it until 4:06am. Jan says his sleeping mat is so thin he could feel though the ground 2 yards away but didn’t mind the extra minutes of peace. We broke camp and headed out onto the east rim road around Crater Lake. Both Jan and I have made all forward progress from the Mexican border by foot so we’re walking the road around the side of the lake not in fire.

Before sunrise a ranger passed and asked us if we were OK. I told him we were walking the East Rim Road because the West Rim Trail was closed by fire.

Jan and I met on a road walk where most people hitched. It’s fun to be doing another one with him. His humor, particulaly on point this morning while he is in good spirits makes the journey enjoyable.

The morning sun gave us the best views in Oregon so far, but not of Crater Lake.

I think that Jan and I might be some of the few people to ever have hiked try East Rim Road since it’s not part of the PCT and we’re hiking it the first day of the closure.

Maui waved and jovially called Jan a dirty hippie as the car which had given him a ride drove by. Maui had left a few hours before us so given that we had to wait for my resupply box, there was no way to have made it through before the closure.

We stopped about 15 miles in at the Cleetwood Cove trail where we got water from the kiosk which sells boat tours of Crater Lake and ferries people to Wizard Island. I wasn’t convinced that there were four days of food in my pack so I bought two bags of Chex Mix.

We took a cross country (ie bushwhacked) shortcut down a hillside about a mile before the road intersected the trail. The soil was so soft you could almost have skied down.

Jan an I camped at around 6:30pm which is early, about 8 miles before the next water. We got up early and with 9 of 14 days left to get across Oregon during the challenge sleep is still important. Given the setbacks so far, we’ll have to average 33 to 34 miles per day to make it. That’s doable as long as the terrain stays pretty flat and we’re efficient at resupplies. 
The trees all have eyes and they’re looking at us. (To the tune of that song from The Sound of Music).

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