The magical Crater Lake

I was sceptical about the transformation I was meant to experience once I reached Crater Lake. Especially because I needed to take four litres of water from the Rim Village to make it 26 miles to the next water source, and because the trail started off incredibly steep. As I looked across the vast beauty of such an incredibly large glistening lake, I couldn’t help but be distracted by the growing nerve pain in the top of my left thigh.

I decided the only cure was to stop, rest and drink. I found a gorgeous spot overlooking the lake and found solace in the fact that the pain was forcing me to stop and enjoy the surroundings, instead of racing to the next water source. I opened up my pack of Fritos corn chips, laid on my sleeping mat, and soaked up the morning sunshine. It was blissful! I drank a litre of water, took a deep breath, and decided the lake had won me over after all.

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The trail emerged at a number of parking lots as it made its way around the rim of the lake, and at one such spot, I passed a hiker heading south. He was carrying a huge pack so I assumed he wasn’t a thru hiker, but when I said hello as we passed, he turned and asked if I was Muk Muk. As Tom was from New Zealand, a hiker ahead of me had mentioned to him there was an Australian girl heading up the trail close behind. He had an incredibly thick accent and I asked him if people had trouble understanding him because even I struggled to follow every word. There must have been some Southern Hemisphere connection because we started chatting like old mates, sharing trail stories, how we both came to be hiking across the US, and other stories we’d heard along the way. Once he told me there was water at the highway in 11 miles I immediately drank another litre, and he even told me there was a package with my name on it waiting there! How could this be?

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We must have talked for over half an hour and then cruised on in opposite directions. I honestly love bumping into south bounders, maybe because it’s such a rare one off opportunity to meet these people seeing the trail from a completely different perspective. When I told him I was having some mental struggles he said ‘you should be celebrating the fact you’re almost at the end’. I guess for them we have hiked a lot further than they have, almost 1000 miles further which helped me put things into perspective a little. He was right, I should be celebrating! Snap out of it Muk Muk and smell the roses, you have come a long way!

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Positive energy started sweeping through my body again, but my nerve pain kept creeping back despite the lighter load. I was ready for a break when I came across two women section hikers I’d met when I ran into Tom called Madam Weasel and Madam Squirrel. Madam Weasel was massaging Madam Squirrel’s feet and told me she was a massage therapist willing to give me the same treatment. A foot massage on trail!? The lake certainly had provided a little magic for the day. My feet were in absolute heaven, and I felt reenergised and fresh as soon as I put my shoes back on. Thank you ladies!

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Just as I set off two other hikers I hadn’t met before caught up to me. There names were Brad and Melissa, and because we hiked about the same speed we spent the next 5 miles talking trail and sharing stories. The time absolutely flew by and I realised what a difference it makes to walk with other people. My mind finally got a much needed break from itself! We stopped and had lunch together before they cruised on ahead. They were such nice people that it gave me an additional boost, and although the last few miles to the highway dragged a little, I was there before 6pm and excited to see what goodies awaited me! Sadly, when I got to the small cache there were only a few bottles of water.

But then, less than a mile up the trail…

I set up camp about a mile past the second cache. My nerve pain came back and I felt like catching up on the blog and resting for the night. I’m in a much better head space this evening, and will make it my mission to keep a positive attitude through this next section to Shelter Cove Resort and onto Canada!

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10 thoughts on “The magical Crater Lake

  1. Hi Rozanne!
    I was so excited to see you posted, since it has been a little while. I’m sad to see you going through these tough mental struggles, i’m sure it gets pretty lonely out there and it takes a toll. Do you sometimes wish you had a hiking partner for the entire trip, or do you need the solitude? You are an amazing woman and such an inspiration to me. To see you push through your pains and your mental fatigue and your physical fatigue and the general sadness, it reminds me that we are capable of much more than we think we are. Your coming into the home stretch soon, and I’m kinda sad to think that your journey will be finished. I enjoy your blog so much! Thank you!
    Sarah

  2. So Glad you found the second Cache a little further up the trail. Way funny that some”thing” ate some of the food! Oh well, hungry hikers are hungry! From what I have learned this year about caching supplies, stuff right at the road tends to get taken or used very quickly. Better if the cache is further up the trail.

    Sorry your hip is still bugging you, that has got to suck and is probably not helping at all with the mood swings. On a side note, it would be great for you if you could end up hiking with some one again. It seems to me, and of course this is just my opinion, that you do a lot better when your hiking with people, at least for part of the day. I know that is easier said then done, but you might want to keep that in mind. You seem much more UP when you meet and hike with others.

    One other item; which I am sure you probably know, UB is coming up on you fast. He has this CRAZY idea to push through Oregon in 12 days or less! He’s going to have bloody stumps for feet by the time he finishes! 🙂 (Just kidding on the blood feet!) Maybe it’s time for another math problem???

    Keep UP and Keep Hiking!

  3. Hey MukMuk, thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures and emotional videos. You have all my respect, keeping going on with physical pain and the mental ups and downs. I had to giggle when you showed us your package with half eaten stuff in it 😉 I send you much fresh and nice smelling sea air from West coast of Norway! Cheers and big hugs 🙂

  4. It was so nice to see all the videos. I like to see both the ups and downs–it keeps the journey real. I do wish you more ups, and less downs, of course though 🙂 …The good thing is you can learn so much from both.

    After we departed from Windigo Pass we went down to find the Windigo Lakes. We found them and they were lovely. We tried to spot you hiking up Cohorn but were unable to 😉

    I really look forward to hearing about your journey to Shelter Cove. I think you’ll like Bend (but it can have some snobby vibes). They have great restaurants and stores.

    Pretty soon you’ll be in the Jefferson Wilderness, perhaps the most favored wilderness area in Oregon (by Oregonians)?!

    🙂

  5. yo muk muk its tom from NZ.. nice snap shot of us 😉
    oi i saw 4 mountian lions between highway 66 and ashland at 11pm within a mile raduis of each other was freaky as but i didnt cry… lol, guess thats a ozzy thing. did that cream not releave ur hip pain?

    • Wow that’s crazy you saw so many mountain lions! Insane! The cream has been sensational, can’t thank you enough! Hope you enjoyed the coffee 🙂

  6. the lions were only 20-30m away too so pretty close… i called night hiking quits after the last one didnt bugger off with me making alot of noise, it just sat watching me like a cat about to jump on a bird, he didnt stalk my tent though lucky aye
    wish i thought about filming it, i could start a blog and all the perks.. haha

  7. Hi darling, not nice to have that pain coming back but what a magical and beautiful place is Crater Lake to have a rest near. Outstanding photos. How lucky and spoiled to have a foot massage on the trail. Fullers parcel must have satisfied some other hungry hikers, still enough for you though. Great to meet some other hikers it does you well. Enjoy, love Mutti xxoo

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