Exciting times on the trail….we were joined by John Hill, my wife’s father/marathon partner and generally inspirational guy. He brought quite the sack of goods with him, so after saying hellos and getting settled in, we reviewed items and prepped for the hiking to start tomorrow. The plan was to hike 6.5 days about 100 miles to Crater Lake NP, so it was a solid pace for someone just joining the festivities.

You may notice less photos for a longer stretch, especially early on, but the smoke was thick from nearby fires, especially in the afternoon. After climbing over the 5 interstate (quite literally) we made it back to the trail with the new team member leading the way.

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Pilot Rock, mile ~1725

With a large amount of this area private land, camping was difficult and our first night took John and the team to a majestic gravel road in front of a private cabin. We were joined by Shepard, who would hang out with us for a couple days as doldrums hit the pace of many hikers in Southern Oregon.

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Sunset over the lake, night 2 with John.

By day three we had decided to do a bigger day, 22 miles, to get to Fish Lake (local resort) and enjoy a beer. This despite the fact that our new companion was having serious foot issues. I will let T-Rex post about her father’s visit, but he was a champ despite really rough feet.

Those feet would not be helped as we walked through heavy amounts of lava rock for much of the day especially in the afternoon. The amoke was also very thick, obscuring any good photopgraphs. After hitching with a big Thru-hiker fan to Fish Lake, we camped next to the lake and hoped some rest would heal weary feet.

After breakfast, resupply, laundry, etc. we hitched back to the trail about 1PM, but 8-Track (duly appointed trail name for our new team member) intelligently decided it was probably time to rest his feet. We agreed to meet the following evening in Mazama Village, just below Crater Lake. As this was 50 miles away, T-Rex and I got moving and knocked about 20 miles in 6 hours. Of course as soon as 8-Track was off trail, the smoke cleared a bit and the views improved as well.

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The next day we hurried along, but got to hike through some great spots on the way to entering Crater Lake NP.

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Perspective is an amazing thing.

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Heading into Crater Lake NP.

After arriving we walked another mile to Mazama Village and set up camp. We then wrangled technology and found we would meet 8-Track on the rim the following day….so we relaxed with other hikers in the hiker camp that night.

(Sorry guys, trying to catch up on blogs, we are currently in Bend).