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Brent and Kim
City: Fort Collins
Begins: May 14, 2008
Date: Thu, Aug 21st, 2008
Daily Distance: 20
Trip Distance: 1,950.0
Entry Visits: 546
Journal Visits: 75,826
Guestbook Views: 18,638
Guestbook Entrys: 87
It rained hard all night long last night. We stayed nice and dry inside our Ray-way tarp, not even a drop of condensation! At this point, I'm sure I'd rather be using a tarp then a tent in the rain. That thing is really comfortable and spacious. Wierd.
Unfortunately, we can't say the same thing about our groundcloth. It turns out that the groundcloth we've been using for about 1800 miles now is *not* actually waterproof anymore. Our thermarest sleeping pads kept us dry through the night, but this was a good location to learn this lesson, what with a clothes dryer nearby at the Crater Lake Store. Yardsale and Webil had learned a similar lesson the previous night, and had bought an enormous plastic sheet to use as a groundcloth, which they were kind enough to give us half of. So much for that ultralight fancy spinnaker fabric groundcloth...
The other excitement of the nighttime storm came as we were just falling asleep - we woke to a huge crash just outside our tarp. My first groggy thought was the tarp had collapsed, but everything seemed to be in order. Kim thought someone had tripped over one of our guylines, but we heard no footsteps, and certianly not enough swearwords for someone to have tripped over our tarp at such velocity. Everything seemed to be in order, so we went back to sleep. The next morning, we woke to find a rather large tree branch just a few feet from our tarp - it must have fallen on one of our guylines. That was a close one! If we'd setup a few feet over, it would have been a rather rude awakening. It probably wouldn't have hurt us, but it might have really destroyed our tarp. We're usually watching for weak branches and dead trees when we camp, but this was in a campground - they check for those things, right?
In any case, we felt sure that all that nighttime excitement called for another all you can eat buffet. Did I mention that Crater Lake has an all you can eat buffet? Because they do. And all you can eat buffets rock.
So of course we got a pretty late start, and got to Crater Lake Village, where the actual lake is, around noon. We had a great time playing tourist - we listened to a ranger talk on the formation of Crater Lake, we tooled around the visitor center for a while, took a side trip to the top of an old fire station lookout over the lake, and finally, around 4 pm, finished the 8 mile hike around the rim of Crater Lake. Crater Lake is really, really beautiful.
The ranger talk was pretty interesting. Before Crater Lake was formed, it was a 12,000 foot stratovolcano, Mount Mazama. Around 5300 B.C., it erupted, with such volume that it hollowed out the inside of the mountain, leaving just the shell of a mountain there. 3-4 hours later, the entire shell collapsed, much like a building being dynamited. Can you image? A 12,000 foot mountian basically vaporized in a few hours. Dust and ash was scattered as far north as British Columbia, and as far west as Denver. I guess that explains why the terrain has been so flat and even recently - it's just hundreds of feet of deposited ash, the remains of Mount Mazama.
Pacific Crest Trail - 2008
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org
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