Day 113 (18/07/2018): Hwy 66 to South Brown Mountain Shelter at Mile 1763.3 (27.8 Miles)
Deﬁnitely still drunk this morning when I woke up. Rick left me half a bottle of whisky last night before they dropped us off back at the trailhead. What an awesome couple! Good times today, easy trail, not too hot. No bugs for the most part, I suppose because of the smoke. Cell service for the majority of the day. Generally a really good day of hiking. My feet deﬁnitely hurt a bit towards the end of the day. The shelter is super cool, and I don’t have to set up a tent which is nice. Saw Foxtrot for the ﬁrst time since Tahoe which was cool. Oregon has been pretty freaking amazing so far.
Day 114 (19/07/2018): S. Brown Mt. Shelter to Tentsite at Mile 1790.4 (27.1 Miles)
Another easy day of hiking. God my feet and legs are disgusting and caked in dirt/dust. Not very much elevation change and I ain’t complaining. The trees are really pretty, but there is not much wildlife outside of birds and the odd chipmunk. Of course the bugs. Wasn’t bad today until the end, and even then mosquitoes were swarming my head net but not biting my arms and legs. Got some really cool views of Mt McLoughlin. Tiny bit of snow on the north side but otherwise barren and covered in volcanic rocks. I might go and do a roughly thirty mile day into crater lake tomorrow, or possibly camp just outside and go in for breakfast the following day. I went out to take a leak and brush my teeth, and the mosquitoes were in a frenzy. Twelve followed me back in the tent, twelve that I could ﬁnd at least.
Day 115 (20/07/2018): Tentsite to Tentsite at Mile 1815.6 (25.2 Miles)
Mosquitoes everywhere again this morning. Luckily it was only for a few miles before they all but nearly subsided. Nothing like Dorothy Pass in Yosemite. There is smoke everywhere. Made it really tough to take in any kind of view while hiking today. Shortly after lunch at the last water source for twenty miles I began hiking through a huge burned area from the ﬁres last year. With all the smoke lingering it gave off an eery feeling. Tonight I’ll camp amongst a bunch of burned out trees. Hope they don’t fall in the middle of the night.
Day 116 (21/07/2018): Tentsite at Mile 1815.6 to Lightning Spring Camp off Crater Rim Trail Mile 4.6 (7.4 PCT Miles) (4.6 Crater Rim Trail Alternate Miles)
At least a tree didn’t fall on me last night. Got great sleep actually. Easy morning hike into Mazama Village at Crater Lake. The mosquitoes are deﬁnitely still out. Had to stop and put DEET on. I resupplied for five days at the tiny store in the village then hiked up to the rim and chilled with the hundreds of tourists while I attempted to charge my battery pack. I spent almost six hours charging it upstairs at the visitor center to only get half a charge. I dunno what’s wrong with the thing, maybe the outlet was just low output or something. Also, since I didn’t have any cell service I broke down and paid for an hour of WiFi from the visitor center. Watching as smoke from a fire across the lake grew throughout the day was definitely disconcerting. Hiking along the rim trail was gorgeous this evening. The camp at lightning spring is chock full of people, and since I showed up late I got a wonky tentsite unfortunately. Early start tomorrow to try and beat the heat for this initial sixteen mile dry stretch. We’ll see how far I can get tomorrow.
Day 117 (22/07/2018): Lightning Spring Camp to Tentsite at Mile 1861.8 (22.6 PCT Miles) (6.8 CRT Miles)
Everyone else at camp got a really early start to watch the sunrise. I got up at 5:30am as usual and was hiking by 6:30. I made great time around the Rim Trail and a few miles after meeting back with the PCT the smoke began. The ﬁre to the northeast of Crater Lake is really throwing off some smoke. Walking through giant swathes of dead trees engulfed in smoke, listening to helicopters and planes ﬂying overhead and around the ﬁre gave a seriously eery feel. The rest of the day was awesome, easy trail meandering around a massive peak called Mt. Thielsen. One of the nicest little streams ﬂowing from the glacier on the north face. My campsite tonight is pretty great, perched on a cliffside of volcanic rock overlooking what I’m sure is an amazing view if the smoke wasn’t obscuring it. I have a little bit of cell service as well! Haven’t had that since the day I left Ashland.
Day 118 (23/07/2018): Tentsite at Mile 1861.8 to Tentsite at Mile 1892.5 (30.7 Miles)
Well, I did my thirty miles. I think I yelled “Fuck Oregon” a couple times this afternoon while I was being raped by mosquitoes. If you like smoke and hordes of mosquitoes with biting ﬂies thrown in for good measure, then southern Oregon is your place! Ok, enough pessimism. Today wasn’t exceptionally interesting or easy, but at least the trail is quite good. The water from this pond I camped at is pretty tasty too considering it is a pond. Tomorrow I’ll head over to Shelter Cove to charge devices, eat some lunch, grab some extra food and take a shower. Can’t wait!
Day 119 (24/07/2018): Tentsite at Mile 1892.5 to Random Tentsite at Mile 1910.8 near Lower Rosary Lake (18.4 Miles)
This morning really sucked. Really bad. My mood was piss poor due to the hordes of ﬂying demon spawn trying to suck my blood. I yelled and cursed, I tried talking to myself, speaking Chinese, and overall just trying to distance my mind from what my body was physically going through. I ﬁgured out why there is no wildlife in these forests… the mosquitoes ended it. My feet hurt quite bad as well starting off, but luckily they loosened up after a couple miles and the going got easier. Once into Shelter Cove Resort everything was instantly better. I was able to commiserate with fellow hikers, get a pizza, charge devices, and replenish a few things for the next three days of hiking towards Mckenzie Pass and Bend, OR where I’ll get to meet up with some friends from my time working in Juneau, Alaska as well as a good friend from Highschool! Leaving the resort and hiking up to the Rosary Lakes was fairly easy uphill, and the lack of mosquitoes made it all the better. Gorgeous campsite up by the lake with Peck. Pizza for dinner tonight. Pizza for lunch tomorrow, hooray!
Looking down into the valley and Ashland, ORMt. Mcloughlin amongst the lava rock strewn landscapePeck hoping for a hitch It’s smoky, but the views are still spectacularDefinitely creepy walking through burned areas from last years firesSunlight streams through the smoke filled forest most morningsCrater Lake and Wizard Island (you can see smoke from the newest fire on the top right)The smoke settled into the lake overnightMt. Thielsen looking formidableGorgeous spot for a lunch break below the jagged peak of ThielsenAnother amazing campsite with no mosquitos!I don’t remember the name of this peak but it was beautiful none the lessAs the smoke continues to permeateThe mountains stick out above it like islands off the coast of the PCTI’ve never seen anything like this before