124. August 12: Mile 1770.89 Fish Lake Resort (then hitch to Mile 2.43 of Rim Trail Alternate) to Mile 11.30 Grouse Hill Campsite on Rim Trail Alternate
Another chance to sleep in late again today. Since we were going to eat breakfast at the restaurant and hitch today, we didn’t really need to get up at the crack of dawn. Slowly, we packed up our gear and walked back to the restaurant and sat down with a couple hikers, Breakfast Beer and Wildfire. Since there were a few large parties already seated ahead of us, it took a long time to get our food, but it turned out to be great because we had a chance to get to know them and joke and laugh throughout breakfast. The great thing about hikers is when you meet ones you don’t know, there’s not a lot of questions you have to ask. We already have so much in common because we’ve been hiking the same trail that we can just dive into telling stories and laughing and making jokes as if we’ve known each other since high school.
Bu the time we actually got out to the road to get a hitch it was already 11:30 and pretty warm. Getting a ride was hard. We originally had a sign that said Crater Lake, but it almost seemed like it was hurting us so we eventually ditched the sign and just hoped our thumbs would do the trick. After almost two hours we finally got a ride from a hippie guy and his day, long hair, beard, and all. They shockingly said that they were headed towards Crater Lake too! The luck!
The ride was very quiet. The father and son just passed a bowl to smoke back and forth between each other and listened to 70’s rock and roll the whole time. Very chill dudes. They were nice enough, though, to not only drive us to the park, but drive us all the way to the trailhead!
At the park we got some lunch which consisted of some incredibly sub par rice with recently frozen and now soggy and completely tasteless vegetables. All for the price a nice meal. My trail dinner which cost less than $5 are 10x better than that crap, but I guess that’s what you get at a tourist destination. Speaking of which, the place was packed. I mean, I guess it is a Saturday which I realized late into the day since day of week means nothing to me. But still, it was a total zoo. I’m sure I probably sound really stand offish by saying all this, but you have to understand that we’ve been living in the woods for four months. Even though I’m from the city, living with such relatively small human contact for such a long period will change how you handle crowds. Especially when those crowds are in an otherwise natural environment, but I digress.
The lake was spectacular, though. I’m so grateful that the Rim Trail opened up for us to see it. I’m not even going to bother trying to describe it because we all know what it is and my pictures can speak for themselves. The trail itself though was surprisingly tough, though. Because the rim isn’t at uniform elevation the Rim Trail doesn’t stay flat and follows its undulations. There were countless series of switchbacks that would go straight up then straight down only to go directly back up again. It was maddening. The views were really cool, however, and made it all worth it.
We made it to camp close to 8:00 and I was ravenously hungry, to my surprise. We had only hiked like 8 miles and I had a big breakfast and a hot lunch. The only thing I can think of is since there’s like no water on this stretch, we had to pack out like five liters which is the equivalent to 11 pounds which is the equivalent to wanting to die. So that may have beefed up my calorie usage.