Day 121: Hiked 9.5 | 1728.1
Our motel room in Ashland was a vortex of comfort: snacks in bed, air conditioning, and Full House—all the essentials.
But the horrid hour of check out came, and we hit the hot, smoky streets of Ashland.
We made it 9.5 miles before standing in a ten-hiker-deep line for water. A trickling spring was the last water source for 12 miles and we all needed three liters. It was a painful wait that proved unnecessary as we found a campsite .1 away.
Milky and I shared a bottle of wine to drown our sorrows for leaving the comforts of society.
Day 122: Hiked 21.2 | 1749.3
It was a slowwwww day. As were many days after town. It’s like the societal rush floods your brain with endorphins from food, bed, rest, WiFi, not walking.
Eventually we came to a campground were we could get water. A white-haired, petite camp host by the name of Betty greeted us. Her welcome was warm and included freshly made peach jam. She even gave a wet kiss on Milkshake’s cheek after placing the jar on the table with bread and peanut butter.
Day 123: Hiked 28.4 | 1777.8
I spent my day totally alone. I got up earlier than the rest, as I normally do, but hiked fast and managed 18 miles by lunch time.
I saw Nicholas and Milkshake at 8 p.m.
Day 124: Hiked 23 | 1800.8
Day 125: Hiked 21 | 1821.7
We hiked into Crater Lake National Park. Our first stop was food, of course. But, per usual, the National Park food sucked.
We set up our tent in the designated backpacker section and found the only spot in the park’s campground that had cell phone service, between sites 11 and 12, on F Loop.
After getting our fill of the internet, we boiled hot dogs for dinner. That’s right, boiled.
Day 126: Hiked ~ 7 | somewhere on crater lake rim trail
Waking up to a hot breakfast is a beautiful thing. Luckily the park restaurant didn’t mess up an omelette, and I was grateful to not be eating two granola bars in its stead.
We hiked up to the Crater Lake Rim Trail, where you can actually see the lake. The famous crystal clear lake was shrouded in smoke. A gray, ghostly outline of the lake and wizard island could be seen.
We hit the cafe and started the Rim Trail, a common alternate that joins the PCT. We cowboy camped, illegally, along the trail hoping to have better views in the morning.
Day 127: Hiked 18.7 | 1856
I woke to a hazy golden view of Crater Lake and Wizard Island.
Nicholas was set on having lunch at Diamond Lake Lodge, 8 miles away from the PCT. I arrived at the spot where the highway intersects the PCT. The hitch was supposed to be easy. We were on a highway, for goodness sake. But no, we tried for two hours. Two hours! All for frickin’ lunch.
With down-trodden souls we hiked on to meet Devil Fish restocking the water cache. Nicholas told him of our unsuccessful hitch, and he offered us a ride. Nicholas bought him lunch and we feasted. Unfortunately the whole ordeal took five hours total once we resumed hiking.