Miles today: 26.9

Trail miles sum: 1165.5

Trail location: 1847.8

Elevation: 5924

Spinning on the turntable: Paul Simon: Graceland

Word of the day today (actually since last week) is that part of the PCT trail near Crater Lake is closed due to aggressive mountain lion activity.

This made it a very simple decision to hike the Rim Trail rather than the PCT. I followed the blue line instead of the red line. (Aggressive Mountain Lions?!? Good God! No! The PCT purists, who refuse to miss a single hiking foot/meter, can haul their hard asses into the “aggressive mountain lion” territory, and not miss a precious piece of the trail. This chubby boy needs no such thrill, thank you very much!)

The sun was just peaking over the horizon as we began our hike. Noelle hiked out for about six miles along the super scenic section of the Rim Trail.

The views were spectacular!

It was an amazing morning hike. I can’t believe we’re here doing this crazy hike! The water is super, super clear.

I read somewhere that the water visibility was around 147ft during a previous test. (Or was it 47 feet? Hummm….)

Anyway, the water is very clear. We skipped the trail hike down to the water, roughly a 700ft drop in a quarter mile. The Park Rangers call it heart attack hill.

We saw a few Olympic Marmots moving around. They blend in very well with their surroundings.

We saw a few Black Tailed deer. This doe allowed us to move very close to it, perhaps ten feet. It wasn’t bothered by our presence too much, she just moved a few feet further away when we were too close.

Once the trail began to move away from the lake Noelle headed back to the van and I continued to mosey on down the trail. I’d like to return to Crater Lake again in the future to spend a little more time exploring.

I do have to admit, I may be in a visual sensory overload situation with all the amazing scenery I’m encountering. Mt. Shasta was mind blowing and I was able to enjoy her presence for weeks. Crater Lake was a one day experience.

The thru-hiking scenery experiences are amazing, but it’s a lot to take in. I suspect that my senses are overloaded. I liked Crater Lake, it was great, but….I saw tourists and day hikers who were quite emotional at the site of the lake. I wasn’t. It was great, spectacular views, but I was ready to move on. Next!

So maybe what I’m trying (poorly) to enunciate is that the amazing visual smorgasbord of the everyday PCT hiking has momentarily decreased my ability to appreciate the incredible, amazing experience of Crater Lake. This may be the most logical thought process I have when it comes to section hiking the PCT versus thru-hiking the PCT.

I was happy to return to the PCT after the Rim Trail detour. Aggressive mountain lions are now behind us!

Once the trail dipped below the lake the trail was locked in pretty tight in the forest.

I kind of zoned out and listened to podcasts this afternoon while hiking. It was a nice break from the tunes.

I was walking through a burned out section for several hours. This was the first time I’ve seen evidence that trail blocking tree removal is being done via axe. There are some serious bad asses volunteers working in this section! Thank you!

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