Day 84, July 17th
Start: Christi springs, mile 1,792
End: Mazama village at crater lake, mile 1,829
Miles hiked: 37 + 1.5 mile road walk to village for 38.5 miles
Footsteps go by my tent in the morning, waking me from my slumber. Not a chance, 10k, JrSr, woody, Sochi, then even Guthrie. It must be late. But I need sleep, especially after last night. Another hour and I’m finally heading down the trail with carrot. It’s a cruiser day, per the elevation profile, and we all plan to get to Mazama village in crater lake. It’s 38 miles. So I take off at my fast hiking speed.
“I’ll see you in Mazama!” I say to carrot.
I cruise the first 15 miles to our first water source, hiking entirely alone. It’s beautiful, reaching several ridges with great views. There’s sharp mountains in the distance, and the landscape is coated with pine trees. It’s gorgeous, and mostly flat despite the distant peaks. Cool, cruiser.
I load up on water at mile 1,809. It’s the last water source of the day, and we still have 21 miles to go! I drink a liter, and carry three out. My pack is brutally heavy, desert style. I remember carrying six liters out of Tehachapi. How did I ever do that? I’m more of a baby now. More willing to be thirsty and dehydrated than carry 6 liters. Carrying huge water weight with a frameless pack such as mine is awful. And I don’t need as much water as I used to. My body has become more adept. Or maybe I’ve become stupider. Much stoopid.
I hike the next 18 miles alone. Nothing but me and my thoughts. Many people ahead of me, carrot and Guthrie behind me. But I don’t catch anyone, as I break like crazy and I’m not hiking too fast. My feet start to hurt extremely bad. But why? This is soft ground, and flat. Rocks here and there, but nothing terrible. It’s a cruiser trail, my feet need to put up, I think. I try to power through, but I’m alone, and easily succumb to breaking and elevating my feet. Guthrie and carrot catch me with three miles to go as I’m sitting on a lot in pain.
“Twinkle! We’ve been trying to catch you all day!” Carrot says to me.
I’m really excited to see them, but I have trouble showing the excitement. My feet just hurt too bad. I complain to them, and Guthrie hooks me up with some ibuprofen. Carrot says even her feet hurt, for the first time this whole trip. It must be the consecutive 30+ mile days. My feet are so soft.
It’s great hiking with them I we the next 3 miles. My feet still hurt, but at least I’m not alone in my head with it. Talking to them takes my mind off of it.
We reach Mazama village at 8, in time to stop at the restaurant. A full pizza. Boom! We all head out to the camp, finding stealth spots in the campground. My feet throb, but I’m happy. I’m not on them. Time to sleep forever.