Day 123: Old Dudes With Guitars

123. August 11: Mile 1752.74 Campsite to Mile 1770.89 Fish Lake Resort
Four months on the trail today! That first day seems like it was part of an entirely different trip now. So much has happened between then and now. At the pace we’re going, Glowworm and I expect to be done near the end of September so we still have a couple months to go. 
It rained last night after we had gone to bed. It was raining and thundering as we hiked to camp, but it came down again after crawling into our sleeping bags. I had unfortunately set my hiking clothes out to dry since they were damp and so they became completely soaked and in the morning were still quite wet. Nothing like putting on cold, wet clothes in the morning to wake you up. 

The hike was really nice today. After last night’s rain, everything is lush and green in the old growth forests that we’ve been hiking in. It really feels like we’re in the Pacific Northwest now. A lot of the day was spent hiking through these large fields of lava rock which looked really cool, but were hard on our feet. 

We were able to get to Fish Lake by 3:30 and were lucky enough to immediately get a hitch so we wouldn’t have to walk the two miles along the road. At the resort restaurant Glowworm got a strawberry milkshake and I got a root beer float and they were so good. Another hiker had updated information about the fire near Crater Lake and while the PCT is closed, the Rim Trail around the west shore of the lake through the park is now open. So our new plan is to hitch from here in Fish Lake tomorrow to Mazama Village in Crater Lake NP and then continue north along the Rim Trail to where it connects with the PCT and resume to Bend. So we are super stoked that we’ll be able to not only see the lake, but hike along it. 

After doing a brief resupply to get us to Shelter Cove, we went back to the restaurant enjoyed beer and excellent burgers while a few older guys played music on their guitars including really good versions of Classical Gas and The Boxer. It felt like I was sitting in the kitchen with my grandpa when I was younger, listening to his vast CD collection. It took me back to a time and place that I haven’t thought about in a while. I really miss having those moments with him. 
Before we could pay, our waiter informed us that our bill had been payed by a former Appalachian Trail hiker. Later through our dinner an old guy with a long grey beard and a limp came over and revealed himself as the generously patron. He proudly told us that he hiked about 750 miles of the AT in 2000 and how so many people showed him kindness on that trip and how he wanted to pay it forward. He was only on the trail for 750 miles and experienced so much kindness during that period that he felt compelled to pay it forward to us. We’ve been on the trail for twice that long so you can imagine the sense of gratitude that we have for total strangers that reach out to us with love and kindness. I can only hope that I will pay it forward when I’m done with this adventure. To bring people in when they need a place to stay or give them a ride when they need to get somewhere without asking questions or vetting them. Pure love is without strings attached and that kind of love has been demonstrated to us time after time over the last four months. 

The plan in the morning is to maybe come back to the restaurant for breakfast and them hopefully get up to Crater Lake. 

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