Crater Lake: More Fog

Start: North Junction (1841)
Camp: Mazama Village (1830)
One great thing about being a SOBO: you can stop looking back – nobody ever walks up behind you.
When I woke to my tent aglow in the morning sun I was hopeful that the weather had cleared. I packed gingerly in my treed retreat and then I sat reading and worrying that the 7:00 a.m. sun reflected off the placid lake below might give me a sunburn. Today is an easy day: 13 miles around the Crater Lake rim and down to Mazama Village, resupply, then stay in the campground there. That said, I still have to get moving – it’s six miles via the Rim Trail to the nearest water, and all I have is a liter left over from the gallon I gleaned off some Seattle RV’ers yesterday. Around that time, as I basked in the temporary ownership of my own flat expanse of concrete, a gentleman pulled up in a sporty new car and asked if I was a PCT hiker. When I answered yes he went to his trunk and withdrew a carbon fiber bear canister, carefully unlocked it with a nickel, and withdrew a handful of “bars” for me. Something called “Epic” and made from bison meat, which I ate with my oatmeal, and another one which I’m eating now that resembles an overgrown cream wafer but with more protein than a bar made from ground bison. It is delicious if only because it is different, delectable because I had forgotten what it was like to eat something that is not smashed or melted.

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The hike was easy and led to several beautiful viewpoints. The fog burned off early in the afternoon and I relaxed on the patio at the rim village making lunch and watching day hikers continue south along the rim and up a gnarly knife edge to a nearby peak.
I found Mazama Village smoldering, the inhabitants wide eyed and horrified at the carnage wreaked upon them by the northbound herd that was still there pillaging the villages meager stores.

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