The morning started out quite cold but warmed by midday and is still a little warm and muggy at night. There was quite a bit of up and down, but nothing steep, rocky, or treacherous. I didn’t see too many hikers today, but ended up catching a bubble from the crater at camp.
I lounged with music, ate my pastry, packed and got going at 6:15. My clothes were still a little damp in the morning, and it was a brisk one today. Once I got moving around, I warmed up quickly.
The same dead thin pine woods continued in the morning. But within an hour, the climbing began and the trees got bigger and shadier. The morning stayed cool even at the open areas without trees. The breeze really does it’s job well. Once we got to the top of the first mountain of the morning, several hikers congregated and cell phones came out. We were still able to get signal from Crater Lake and could even see some of the peaks around the rim.
As the day wore on, the views closed in a little and the open areas got more frequent and the heat began to come out. At one point just before lunch, I actually got my umbrella out and used it for about half an hour. Just before I was planning on stopping for lunch, I met an older southbound couple having a snack on a log. They were from Washington and were very familiar with the trail in northern Oregon so I asked them about the Eagle creek trail. They assured me everyone was still taking it and easily fording the river and that the difference in scenery was definitely worth the alternate. So that makes me feel better.
I made my lunch stop at 12:30 and dug out the beef burrito I had been carrying since Mazama. It was good and filling, but I also ate some cheese afterwards. I tried to take a quick nap, but the yellow jackets were dive bombing me. Bugs sure know how to ruin a good time.
There is very little water in this stretch, and the last water for a while was an ice cold stream. I cameled up and loaded four liters for the next 17 miles. I really only needed three, but I was expecting more heat. Luckily, it was not a hot afternoon, so I ended up in camp with about two liters which is enough to cook and make the next 8 miles to a pond. Having enough water is very fortunate, because the water here is several hundred feet down a steep slope.
I am now camped 35 miles from the next resupply point, which will make for a full day tomorrow, then an easy day into the resort. Hopefully I can do a fly by and be out on the trail again the same day. I have 225 miles to Timberline, so my timetable should be about perfect to get there by the 29th.