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BassBoneBob - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2018

Entry 28 of 32
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City: Grand Rapids
State: Michigan
Country: USA
Begins: May 23, 2018
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Tue, Jun 19th, 2018
Start: Campsite at mile 2068.3
End: Campsite at Lower Twin Lake near mile 2088
Daily Distance: 20.7
Trip Distance: 379.3
Hours Hiked: 10
Entry Lat: 45.04861424
Entry Lng: -121.71133185

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 98
Journal Visits: 7,787
Guestbook Views: 73
Guestbook Entrys: 10

Journal Plan

Pacific Crest Trail Map

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Day 28 - A Frigid Dip in Little Crater Lake and an Idyllic Lakeside Camp

Tuesday, June 19
Once things got quiet, I could hear the sizzle of the power lines
throughout the night, off in the distance We were far enough away that we
weren't harmed, but it was a sound that didn't belong in the wilderness.
Besides the fact that I was exhausted after a long day... I slept great,
and in the morning we quietly went about our duties with one ultimate
goal... get to the Timberline Lodge tomorrow morning, in time for the
famous breakfast buffet. With about 34 miles to go, that would mean a
productive 25+ miles today in order to knock off to 8 miles tomorrow
morning to get there by 10:00 a.m.

The trail stayed in the cover of the trees, trending downhill, but the
makeup of the trail changed to a clay and rock base, versus loamy pine
needles. There were many long stretches of trail miles in this section that
were eroded from all the snow melt and rain water running down the middle
of the trail, leaving, a rocky, uneven path with sticks, broken branches,
and other debris... tricky, uneven footing for decending. Emily and I once
again took the lead, off at 6:30 a.m. and showing no signs of fatigue or
soreness. The one benefit of investing in yesterday's difficult climb at
the end of the day was the payback of a long, gradual downhill 7 mile walk
to the Timothy Lake basin to start our day. Coincidentally, Emily and Jenny
had camped at this beautiful remote lake just a week earlier with their
colleagues from work for a few days of training. At that time Emily had
noticed an interesting place on the map called Little Crater Lake. I looked
it up on my PCT app to see that it was up ahead and just a quarter mile off
trail. I read many positive comments about the lake from last years hikers
saying this was definitely something worth seeing, also mentioning the
challenge of jumping in the ice cold watter. Little Crater Lake was about a
mile beyond the end of Timothy lake and Emily and I were all-in for
stopping there for our extended morning break, an ambitious 10 mile segment
BEFORE coffee. I'm not so sure that Riley and Hayley were sold on the
idea... but we were carrying the coffee! The long gradual downhill at the
start paid the dividend of a "10 by 10" morning... 10 miles by 10 a.m.!
Emily and I were certainly tired and ready for a break when we got there.
We set our packs down under the shade of a big tree and got water boiling
right away for coffee. We had the small lake all to ourselves for 30
minutes before Riley and Haley arrived and we relaxed in the warm sunshine.

Both Crater Lakes are a remarkable natural phenomenon to say the very
least, but neither is in a crater. The National Park version is actually a
lake inside the caldera of Mt Mazama, spring fed and filled by snow every
year. Little Crater Lake is not in a crater either, but it resembles the
real Crater Lake with its' very cold, crystal clear, spring fed water and
intense blue color. Little Crater Lake is almost perfectly round and only
about 100 feet in diameter, but is very deep with a rich, pale blue color
rather that the intense neon blue of the big lake. There were several large
dead trees that you could clearly see under water and pointed upside down
into the depths. On one side of the lake you could see a submerged sheer
cliff extending 100 feet, all the way down to the bottom. The water was so
clear that if you allowed yourself to stare into the depths, it seemed to
disappear before your eyes. On our side of the lake there was a shallow
ledge where you could stand in relatively warm water. I stood there for a
moment before diving head first into the blue abyss. I have never done a
wintertime polar challenge before and probably never will if it's like
this... it was bone chilling cold that took my breath away and had me
frantically whimpering like a child as I scrambled for shore. After my big
drama, it took awhile, but eventually everyone went in with similar
responses to the shocking cold water. But the sunshine was there to warm
us, and we were all felt euphoric, fresh, and new after a luxurious hour of
lounging around another of nature's spectacles on the PCT.

We hiked together for a long while after that... invigorated and happy, as
one in action, thought, and spirit. Entering the Mt Hood Wilderness Area
under a mature conifer forest, we began the long, expected ascent up the
southern flank of Mt Hood itself. Looking north, there was finally a break
in the trees that revealed the massive, snow covered Mt Hood, still about
10 miles away in a straight line across a vast U - shaped vally. I was
relieved to see on the map that the trail would stay up on the ridge and
circle around the valley rather than drop all the way down and back up
again. It meant additional trail miles, but less elevation loss and gain.
On the negative side, it meant fewer water sources. In anticipation of this
we all had filled up with the chilly waters of Little Crater Lake, but with
all of the climbing and warmer temperatures we were drinking more. We
crossed U.S. Highway 26 and a trailhead parking lot hoping to find a water
cashe but found nothing. We were all feeling fatigued and needed more
drinking water, especially Emily who was now learning about the importance
of water awareness, planning, conservation, and understanding what your own
body requires.

I noticed on the trail map that there were a couple of lakes up ahead,
about a half mile off the PCT. There was a well worn spur trail heading
down to the lake that was obviously popular with several groups of day
hikers heading back to the parking area at the highway we crossed. It
looked like they had been swimming... a good sign in my eyes. We were about
9 miles to the Timberline Lodge and had to make a decision... keep pushing
up towards Mt Hood to a dry campsite in 3 more strenuous miles, or take the
half mile trail down to to the lake to camp for the night, giving us 9.5
slow, difficult miles in the morning. It was a "no brainer" for Emily and
I... we were thirsty, hungry, and tired and wanted to stop now. Of course,
so was Riley and Hayley, but Riley especially was holding on to the vision
of the breakfast buffet in the morning... food is a powerful incentive. I
have always deferred these personal decisions to HYOH, Hike Your Own Hike,
but in this case the desire to keep our group together won out. The
temptation of lakeside camping, dinner, and rest certainly played a part
too... and after all, there was also a lunch buffet at the Timberline
Lodge! With renewed energy, I led the charge downward to Lower Twin Lake. I
spotted a few good looking campsites with fire rings next to the lake. We
went right to a perfect spot with beautiful flat pine needle tent pads,
under the big trees, with easy access to the lake, and a large fire ring
surrounded by sitting logs. The first thing I did was go out in the lake in
my hiking shorts, for a washcloth bath, then set up quickly, and before I
knew it we had our 3 tent compound set up and water was boiling for dinner.
We all gathered twigs and small branches that were dry and started a nice
campfire that we all enjoyed well into the evening as we watched the
slanted yellow rays of the sun slowly bring warm colorful hues to the trees
on the other side of the lake. This would be Hayley's final night of
camping with our little group as she was ending her hike tomorrow at the
Timberline Lodge. It was a wonderful warm fire, dinner, sunset, in the
serenity of this idyllic place on our journey... a lovely location by the
lake, waiting just for us, to provide sanctuary, safety, and restful peace
for the night.

For more pictures and videos go to my Instagram page: @bassbonehiker

*(COUNTER-clockwise. Valid values: 90, 180, 270)*

Entry 28 of 32
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Pacific Crest Trail 2018

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:


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