Friday, July 22, 2022. Day hike to Crater Lake Rim and return. 8.6 miles. 1100′ gain and loss.
Really looking forward to this day! And it was a beautiful one!
We returned to the trail where we left it on Highway 62 just west of Mazama Village in Crater Lake National Park. The trail traversed rolling hills and valleys until we reached the Dutton Creek trail which would lead us up to the crater rim.
From there, the path climbed steadily until it got quite steep. After a short time, we looked up and saw RVs parked in the lot at the top of the trail. We were almost there! We passed another dayhiker on the way back down. We’d seen him on the trail from Ashland, too.
As we came up the last slopes, we realized a huge goal was truly in reach. In 2018, we had set out from the Mexican border in California to hike all the way to Canada, but fires, smoke, heat, and trail closures made that impossible. We’d skipped the section we were just about to complete. Nevertheless, we had completed 1815 miles on our first go. We’re still determined to touch the Northern Terminus Monument soon. Our bodies are still capable and the experience calls us every day.
We crossed over the roads and parking lots and simultaneously touched the rock where we had left from 4 years ago to continue on to Cascade Locks and the Columbia River. We had just completed all the links to claim that we had hiked all the Pacific Crest Trail contained in both California and Oregon! That’s 2147 miles! And we walked all the way and sometimes more that we had to – no skip arounds, no rides, only designated, or required, alternates. We now have “just” 503 miles to complete the whole PCT.
Hard to imagine we’ve done all this after retirement – in our 60s. Elaine is determined and tough when it comes to hiking. Very proud of her for doing all the planning she’s done to provide for our nutrition and for the perspective she has on how to manage the route. She really is the driving force of this hiking team and makes it so rewarding and fun.
We’ll post again when we take on the next section to get us to the Canadian border and through our beautiful state, Washington.