100 Day Walk to Crater Lake (T-Fox)

July 23 – 1727 to 1755 (28 miles)
July 24 – 1755 to 1782 (27 miles)
July 25 – 1782 to 1812 (30 miles)
July 26 – 1812 to 1829 (17 miles)
July 27 – 1829 to 1856 (27 miles)

Lorax hitching out of Ashland...got picked up by the second car!!

Lorax hitching out of Ashland…got picked up by the second car!!

“Today I finally overcame trying to fit the world inside a picture frame. Maybe I will tell you all about it when I’m in the mood to lose my way with words.” – John Mayer, “3×5”

July 23 – 28 miles

Man, it’s great being in Oregon! The trail is flat, and the trees are so wholesome. It feels awesome being able to crank out some serious miles with less effort.

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July 24 – 27 miles

There are so many berries out here!! – huckleberries, grouse berries, wild strawberries, thimble berries…and I love them all.

Something that really stood out to us from today was the lava rock flows. It’s amazing how many stories the earth will tell, if we just stop and listen. The things she has seen! The events she has witnessed! The trail kept meandering through the lava, then back into the sugar pine Forest, and back to the lava again. How Mother Nature manages to grow such magnificent trees among the black barren rocks is mind-boggling. I stopped, closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and sighed out my love and appreciation for this opportunity. Feeling so blessed…

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July 25 – 30 miles

Surrounded my magical Fairy infested forests…trudging along, whistling a little tune. This is a happy place…this is wholesome and good for the soul.

It’s a John Mayer music marathon kind of day! So I set my iPod to shuffle JM, and mellow out. Music was my fuel today.

The wildflowers never cease to inspire and amaze! We saw a brand new one today, which is called Grandpa’s Beard. We prefer to call them Mini-Truffula Trees because…well…I am married to The Lorax, and they are so dang cute.

We past Luther Peak today, which is another volcanic mountain along our journey. We can still see Mt, Shasta in the distance, way way behind. It’s hard to fathom just how far we are walking everyday, but the sum of those days is incredible. We crossed the 1800 mile mark today, and it really took me by surprise. They’re lying right? There’s no way I walked that far. But I did…apparently.

The trail has a lot of shale on it now, and my feet are getting sore! My shoes are SO DONE. They are literally starting to fall apart. Hang in there shoes!! Don’t break on me now!

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Grandpa's Beard

Grandpa’s Beard

Ouch says the feet...

Ouch says the feet…

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July 26 – 17 miles

DAY 100 ON THE PCT!!! What?! That’s crazy!! I would never have pegged myself as someone who would hike for over 100 days…and I don’t think my family would have either. I’ve always been a bit of a princess (and that may be an understatement), and that just goes to prove that anyone could do this. Having a super-supportive and PATIENT husband helps too.

Just 17 miles to Mazama Village, which is one of the two Crater Lake tourist re-fuelling spots. I could use some good old touristy re-fuelling myself! So we book it FAST to “town.” Upon reaching the highway that does a complete loop around Crater Lake, we are greeted by Lightning Rod who offers us Corona’s, iced tea, and watermelon. He started hiking the PCT this year and made it roughly 500 miles, but his feet were giving him grief, so he had to drop out. He felt compelled to give back to this wonderful community, and therefore decided to give out refreshments for a few days. That may have been the most refreshing iced tea I’ve ever had! We had just come out of a decent sized waterless stretch, and I was clean out of water. I almost cried when he offered me the drink.

We loitered in Mazama village for a while – showers, food, and general civilized activities. It always feels so weird being around a lot of people. Everyone is so rushed and stressed and entitled to this and that. Isn’t this a vacation destination? A place to relax? Is Crater Lake best enjoyed by whizzing around her perimeter, grabbing a bite to eat, purchasing a “Crater Lake shot glass” and returning to the road? Don’t get me wrong…I’ve been the car whizzing tourist myself. But it feels like there’s such a disconnect when we encounter natural wonders from within the comfort of our car.

I finally got my new shoes – put 1050 miles on the previous pair. We didn’t want to dish out money to camp at the campground, so like we so often do, we returned to the trail to find our own real-estate. We were greeted by a sign that stated “no camping within 1mile of the road.” Why? To keep the squeaky clean image of Crater Lake National Park? We wouldn’t want people from within their cars to see – gasp! – people camping in THE WOODS! That would be so uncivilized! What an eye sore. But whatever…we’ll comply. Well…we’ll go a quarter mile.

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Freedom and T-Fox getting spoiled with bevies....

Freedom and T-Fox getting spoiled with bevies….

On to pair #3!!

On to pair #3!!

July 27 – 27 miles

We wake feeling excited to see Crater lake, as Mazama Village didn’t offer a view of her yet.

What an incredible rim walk! We highly recommend this hike to anyone who is planning to visit Crater Lake.

We had our usual mid-morning snack break along the trail. Man, when did we get so ugly? Lorax in his deteriorating hat, and me in my ripped shirt and homemade visor…we are a sight to see! Look kids! Hiker Trash! Remember, stay in school and get good grades and you won’t end up like those two!

After the madness that was Crater Lake (honestly, it was gorgeous…just a bit too “clean”), the trail returned to its Oregon smoothness. This was a big waterless stretch (27 miles), so it was nice to have easier trail.

The Forest in this section was so…sickly. We’re not sure why, but the soil must be contaminated in some way because the trees are struggling here. Lorax thought maybe the soil was too acidic from the volcanic activity, or possibly there’s heavy metals in the ground. But whatever the reason, the trees were strangely cancerous, full of bowls and maimed branches and stunted growth. It was sad really.

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So many people...

So many people…

Fox sighting!!

Fox sighting!!

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Cancerous trees

Cancerous trees

Nom Nom...me love PCT signs!!

Nom Nom…me love PCT signs!!

 

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8 Responses to 100 Day Walk to Crater Lake (T-Fox)

  1. Momma Lorax says:

    They really do look like mini truffula trees! I agree – those Grandpa’s Beards are very cute. And Crater Lake is beautiful. Its great to hear from you. We been checking the blog site several times a day lately – hungry for an update. As usual – you two are amazing. So glad you found some new shoes.

  2. Kirk Durston says:

    Love this little Truffula trees. Now I think I need a Thneed ….. unless ….. hummmmm. I imagine from your description, T-Fox, that you two must look like homeless people. Pretty funny thought and I enjoyed your imagined exhortation of parents to their children upon sighting you two. Love, Poppa Lorax.

  3. Megan Firth says:

    If I found one of those Grandpa’s beards I would rub it on my lips! It looks so soft!!! ummm….
    Congratulations on hitting 100 days! Way to go!

  4. Mahlon Frey says:

    Mmmm !! A little Princess ????
    Love your blog, keep it up.
    Hike on, T-Fox.

    Love, Mom,& Dad T-Fox

  5. marybeth dreise says:

    Way to go guys. Tara, I love reading your blog. It gets me giggling every time.

  6. Mother Hen says:

    I love the smiles and great sense of humor.. Wonderful photos and yes the trees look rough. I think I would bronze those shoes..lol!

  7. Kermit says:

    Empire of the Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug Are Killing North America’s Great Forests (David Suzuki Foundation Series), This will explain what you have seen.

  8. Toto says:

    I remember that forest just north of Crater lake before the road. That was probably the only part of the trail that kind of bummed me out. (99% of the time I was loving life and the other than 1% not counting this day was off mostly off trail stuff harshing my vibes).

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