Saturday, August 25, 2012

Day 126- Little Crater Lake

From mile 2066 to mile 2089

I'm not sure if I ever slept so good on the trail before. I woke up feeling great and ready to hike. We got out of camp early and ate breakfast while on the move. Portrait has been trying to get me to eat while hiking for awhile, and maybe it's not as bad as I thought. He said it gave us an extra mile done.

I was thrilled to be on the PCT-it felt new and full of wonder to me. It helped that there wasn't much in change of elevation in the morning and I was surrounded by tall pines and green underbrush. We came out of the forest into a small clearing and there was Mount Hood looming large. If it hadn't been for the fire we would have seen Hood small on the horizon.  It was neat to see the mountain up close for the first time. 

As we hiked Portrait and I talked about gear, which is funny because it was the same conversation we always have when we talk about gear. We talk about what we would change in our packs, how we'd go lighter, what gear we'd like to try and make, and wonder about quilts. I know we've covered that ground before, but it made the miles roll on by.

There was a lot of water near the trail today, and not just lakes like Oregon was a hundred miles ago. We passed so many little springs and a few streams. I hope the trend continues.

By the time we stopped for lunch around 12:30 we had twelve miles done on the day and feeling great. My lunches have started to get a little on the meager side, but my food bag is finally feeling light enough.  While eating three women on horses went by. It took us awhile to figure out what we were hearing before they came into sight. We kept lunch to a strict hour long break.

The trail continued being easy and pleasant and I continued loving it. There's nothing like 25 miles on a road to make you appreciate a narrow dirt path through the woods. Not too long after lunch we went down to a campground on a lake to fill our waters at the head water of the lake.  It was a wonderful spring-fast moving, cold, and no floaties.

We followed the trail halfway around Timothy Lake passing a few dozen weekend campers with huge tents and coolers. I had forgotten that it was a weekend and for a bit I was surprised by the number of people out. It wasn't even an option to camp at the lake-it was so noisy (and it was early yet). We continued on hoping that were we wanted to camp, Little Crater Lake, would be free of campers.

Little Crater Lake
When we got to Little Crater Lake at just after six we discovered there was a campground just .2 down the side trail from the lake. The area surrounding the lake was marshy-not good for camping. The lake itself was a small blue gem. The water was as blue as the big Crater Lake, but at Little I could stand right on the edge of the water and star into the blue water.  On the bottom was a sunken log-it looked like the mast of a ship. According to the informational sign it was only 43 feet deep and a cool 34 degrees. It was very cold dunking my hand in to fill my water bottle.

We had dinner by the lake and then went back to the PCT to find a non marshy place to set up camp. It took awhile to find a good spot, but it was still just barely light out when I crawled into my sleeping bag.

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