Day 100 – Rim alternate trail

July 12, 2016

Rim Village to bushcamp (mile 1845.4)

Miles: 18 via Crater Lake Alternate Trail

Our total mileage: 1439.1

We thought it would be fun to see sunrise at Crater Lake. However, once we saw that sunrise was at 5:41 am, we changed our minds.

We had a nice morning which started with tea and hot chocolate in bed courtesy of Joanna. The next few hours were filled with last minute town items and packing and repacking our backpacks, and the car.

We got to Crater Lake around 9 am. We stopped first at the Mazama store and then the campground in search of hikers. Joanna had a trunk full of trail magic and we were in search of hungry souls.

Unfortunately with the inclement cold weather and the fact that we were ahead of the pack, there were not that many hikers around.

We found the PCT specific campsites and filled a bear box with crackers, soda, beer, brownies and pie. It will be a wonderful surprise for those that arrive today. Thank you Joanna and Karen for making many hikers’ day!

We drove up to the Rim Village, took a few more pictures and hugged goodbye. Saying goodbye is usually very hard for Laurie and she felt tears streaming down her face as we walked away. They were tears of love, gratitude and sadness in one salty mixture.

Laurie experiences a moment of let down after a much anticipated event. We had been looking forward to Joanna’s visit for weeks and now it was over. It was wonderful spending time with her and, like all of our Nero and zeros, it felt like a whirlwind.

On top of the emotions of goodbye, we both felt exhausted. No matter how much we feel we accomplished, there is always more on the to do list. It is like we are trying to cram a weeks worth of responsibility and tasks into 24 hours.

Zeros are supposed to be rest days but they quickly turn into “get it done” days.

It feels like we live in 2 worlds: trail and town. Switching between the 2 worlds is exhausting. It takes time to adjust on both ends, the desire to veg is contrasted with the need to do laundry, clean water filters and organize our resupply. All of which makes our time in town even shorter. Once back on the trail our minds continue to race, creating to do lists for the next time we have service or get into town.

It is a constant struggle to just be – whether on the trail, sitting in a laundramat or sorting through 5 days worth of food.

The trail from the Rim Village took us up and down along the spectacular Crater Lake Rim trail. With every glimpse we were amazed and in awe of the deep blue color.

After a few miles we turned north and ran into snow. Some sections were easy to navigate but others were steeply graded and if one were to slip it would be a long way down to the road.

After about 6 miles we turned away from the lake and headed down into the valley. We stopped for a late lunch and found that we had service. We ordered new shoes for Laurie before continuing down a long and flat descent complicated by down trees.

We walked under the shields of our headnets into the evening light. We got into camp at 7:15, ate dinner and quickly fell asleep.

Tonight we are grateful for our tent providing protection from the mosquitos and natural wonders.

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There's a trail in there. Really.

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