1800 – 1822
The air was hazy with smoke and I slept poorly. Maybe the smell or maybe realizing that I only hiked 10 miles yesterday. Then it got cold around 3 and I wished I’d put on my tent fly and another pair of pants.
The path to Ranger Springs was about a mile. It kept crossing dry stream beds, making me think I’d walked all that way for nothing. Then I’d see the path continuing on and keep walking. I came to the horse camp and still no water. Then I finally heard it, the unmistakeable sound of a gushing creek. The descriptions really don’t do it justice. It’s worth the walk just to see all that water gushing out of nothing, merrily babbling over soft green boulders.
It’s a pretty forest today, little Xmas-sized trees and delicate shrubs in fall foliage. Then I got to the burn area. It was closed until recently. You can see where the trail crews moved the fallen trees or cut through burnt logs. Some of the standing trees look like skinny stacks of charcoal briquettes, balanced precariously, waiting for just the right gust of wind to topple over. The ground was moon dust and ash in some places. In other sections, the baby trees flourished in their nursery, green and fuzzy.
There was a super sunset amongst the trees. The smoke in the air really makes for spectacular colors. I kept walking long after nightfall. I wanted to get to Crater Lake and have a restaurant breakfast in the morning. And I wanted to see how long I could walk at night without getting tired. For some reason, I am the laziest hiker in the world when I try to hike in the morning. Then at night I have endless energy. Around midnight, I settled on a campsite. I still wasn’t that tired but it seemed like a good stopping place. One of these days, before I’m done, I need to try an all night hike, just to see how it feels.