August 11, 2017
Mile 1752.74 – Fish Lake Resort (1752.74-1770.89)
We got up this morning with the excitement of knowing we’d be at Fish Lake before dinner. It was a really nice day of hiking to the resort. Most of the day was either flat or gently downhill. In the morning, we wound through a lush green forest, the trees draped in a furry, light green moss or lichen that definitely seemed invasive, but made for some pretty cool-looking forestscapes. It was like something out of a Dr. Suess story. We were able to make 6 miles before stopping for breakfast, which is pretty awesome.
Today marks exactly 4 months that we’ve been on the trail. One third of a year. It’s pretty crazy that we’ve been out here this long, and I really have no idea how much longer we’ll be out here. At this point I’ve totally settled in to life in the wilderness. Sure, I occasionally long for the comforts of civilization, but the trail is home, my little tent is home, the wilderness is my home. It’s going to be so weird transitioning back to regular society after all of this.
Can you spot the tiny Gummies?
Late in the morning and for most of the rest of the day, the trail wound across endless fields of black volcanic rock. We got the first view of a real mountain that we’ve had in a while, Mt. McLoughlin. Shortly after 3pm, we arrived at the highway we would take to get to the resort, which is about 2 miles off the trail. There was also a side trail you could walk on to the resort, but we decided to chance a road walk in the hope that someone would give us a lift. We were in luck, because the very first vehicle to pass us pulled over to pick us up. It was an RV filled with a family that was just coming back from a trip to Yellowstone. They drove us right up to the resort, which was amazing.
Upon arriving, we immediately sat down at the cafe for some cold drinks. I got a strawberry milkshake and it was delicious. The resort had printed out the most recent info about the fires at Crater Lake, and all the hikers took turns passing it around. It turns out that the rim trail around the lake is now open, which changed our plans a bit. We had been planning to hitch from here up to the north side of the park, which would mean we wouldn’t get to see the actual lake at all. I don’t want to pass up the chance to see the lake if I don’t have to, so our new plan is to hitch to Mazama Village at the south side of the lake, and then hike the rim trail around. This means we have an extra day of hiking that we hadn’t planned for, so we inventoried the contents of our food bags and then did a somewhat meagre resupply from the resort store. This place is super hiker friendly, the store had most of the basic hiker necessities and they even have a free tenting site for PCT hikers.
After we finished shopping, we decided we were ready for some dinner. I got a crazy delicious veggie burger and a nice beer from one of the local breweries in Bend, and we shared a piece of blackberry pie. Soooo much food, and so good. We sat on the patio and there was even live music out there. Near the end of the meal, our waitress came over and told us that someone had paid our bill for us. It was an older guy who hiked a section of the AT back in 2000. Once again, I am shocked by the kindness of total strangers out here. After we were done eating, we walked around the lake to the campsite, which is pretty nice. We’re going to sleep in tomorrow, maybe get some breakfast, and then start our hitch hiking adventure. It’s been a really good day, and I’m excited to see what tomorrow will bring.