1810 campsite to Grouse Hill Camp – 24 miles (38km) – 1839 miles total
Today was a great but long day. It started with 10 miles to the road to Mazama Village at Crater Lake. The trail was pretty normal, pine forest and some of it a burn area from fires back in 2017.
At the road D and I tried to hitch to the village unsuccessfully. So we walked the 1 mile. By just after 11am we were sitting in the visitor centre restaurant eating burgers and soda. We sat around for ages enjoying free soda refills. America is great (I had four cokes!) , charging our stuff and picking up and sorting out our resupply boxes.
By 3pm it was time to start hiking again. Back to the trail and then a short stint to take the rim trail alternate as the PCT is closed in this area due to mountain lion activity 🙅♀️. Even if it wasn’t closed I would have taken the rim trail to see Crater Lake. However, the rim trail to Crater Lake involved 1000ft of gain, so it was after 5pm when we got to Rim Village. When we got there B was there with her cousin which was a great surprise. I soon hatched a plan to get her cousin to drive me 6 miles to stash my bag along the trail, so I could slackpack the rest of it.
Walking without a bag is amazing. I moved so much freer and faster, it was great. However, it soon became clear that the rim trail would still take time with lots of ups and downs. At 7pm I found D and with 5 miles to go we recognised we would be night hiking to get to our permitted campsite. 3 miles before camp I picked up my bag from where I had stashed it and was then treated to the most amazing sunset as we walked. Just after dark we made it to camp and set about setting up and cooking dinner while declaring that we would sleep in, in the morning.
Today I am thankful for slack packing.