7/24/17 – The Journey from Mazama Village Along Rim Trail and Back

Day 92
Miles 1,818.43 to 1,820.53 + 8 miles on alternate Rim Trail route.

(+ 1 mile from Mazama Village to PCT)

Total miles hiked: 1,244.66
We knew it will be a semi lazy day today. I got up at 5:45 and called my mom to wish her happy birthday. I also had to make an REI order. Some of our clothing is wearing out and some gear needed to be replaced as well, and before we were packed and ready to head out, it was already after 9:00. And wait , we also got breakfast at the restaurant, and talked to fellow hikers, so really we did not hit the trail until 11:00.

At Crater Lake

PCT was gentle on us at first, strolling through forest, meandering along creeks. We knew there was some good elevation to gain but it just wasn’t coming… until the very last mile that climbed over 600 feet.

Approaching Rim Village

Rim Village was super busy. Even today, on a weekday there were hundreds of people around. We found our way to the Lodge where we had a good lunch, finally something different than burger and fries, and with our bellies full, we started hiking again at 3:30 p.m.

Camping is not allowed on the rim so we had a reasonable distance to cover before getting to camp. 

Crater Lake in the summertime

The trail was scenic, many vantage points allowed views of Wizard Island and Ghost Ship Rock. Above the lake white puffy clouds hovered and added interestingness to the sky.

The trail went up and down, over and over again. The ups and the downs were both decently steep but we knew once we get off the rim, the rest should be smooth cruising to the camp 
Few snow patches hindered our progress. Only one was on a steeper slope. The trail was closed at that section but the only sign stating that fact was on the other side so we didn’t know until we were past the snow. It wasn’t too bad with ice axe and the snow was soft so even our runners were able to carve good steps. 

Tricky snow patch

Afterwards there were other snow patches but mostly on flat ground so crossing them was not a problem at all.

Above us, the white puffy clouds started cumulating. We saw a lightening or two, then the weather got quiet for a while but as soon as we rounded the last corner before crossing the road and heading off the rim, we knew we were not in a good spot. The storm was brewing ahead of us and the trail was headed right in the middle of it. The open area ahead of us was not a great place to be in a lightening storm and our chances to beat it were slim to non.

We run to the road where two cars were stopped. We asked for a ride back to the village and two sisters Erika and Claire loaded us in without hesitation. We had a great time riding with them, chatting about the trail, and their outdoor experiences. 

No rooms were left at Rim Village Lodge, nor at Mazama Village Lodge but we found a spot at the PCT hiker camp from where we left in the morning, and we set up before the storm arrived to the area. 
What an adventure. Tomorrow we’ll try to hike out of Crater Lake again.