Today was a very taxing day. It started out in mosquito hell, progressed to blow down hell, then went to rock hell, then finished off in a combo of mosquito and rock hell. It was a 6:15 to 8:15 day with lots of small rest stops. Twice today I wanted to stop and take a nap. But I hit my target, I’m less than twenty miles from Crater Lake so I am hoping to have a good day tomorrow.
The other folks in camp were still asleep when I rolled out in the morning. I could hear the mosquitoes buzzing outside the tent before I even got out. But the long clothes and the head net were doing a good job, but hearing them buzz around your head still drives you nuts. I tried some of the off spray I bought in Medford and it did seem to help a little bit.
I got to the spring about 9 am and the water was ice cold. I had run out about fifteen minutes earlier, so I downed almost a full liter. It was about ten miles to next water, so the two and a half liters I had left should do. Onward ho.
After a few miles, the trail started getting cluttered with blown down trees scattered over the trail. Some you could go around, some you could go under, some you could step over and some you had to climb over. The picture shows a typical section. It went on for somewhere between six and eight miles of this nightmare. You could not go 100 yards before another blowdown. 50 yards was a more common interval between the obstacles. I don’t know what my speed slowed to, but I’m sure it was under two miles per hour when it should have been three. Not to mention the extra foot abuse and leg exertion. I had to stop several times to rest.
It did finally end, only to turn into a rock scree nightmare. My feet were already sore, so the rocks only added more abuse. The trail climbed several peaks and some of them were totally burned out and would have been hot had their not been a good breeze blowing. The view was quite nice, though.
On the back side of the peaks was the next water, and I ran out ten minutes before getting there. This water was not as cold, but I drank a liter anyhow. It was already past six by now and two miles ahead was last water for twenty miles all the way to Crater Lake. I made it there and loaded up with five liters of water and headed out for three more miles to the next campground.
By now the mosquitoes were out in full force and the trail turned to typical park service gully full of rocks and tall steps. Not what you want to walk on at the end of a trying day. I did find other tentsites on the way to the one I was heading for, but there were always mosquitoes buzzing. I was hoping where I was going would be drier and maybe have less of the flying Devils. Nope, they were just as bad, but the campsite had good tent sites and lots of logs to sit on, so it was worth the extra effort to get there. And it was vacant, too, so no having to worry about waking other people either at night or in the morning. And passing the 1800 mile milestone at the end of the day did perk me up a little bit.
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