While visiting friends in Oregon, I found I had an open 3-week window on my calendar. It wasn’t on my summer itinerary, but then again neither was Oregon. With fires preventing me from hiking the Colorado Trail, alternative plans were the word of the day.
Step 1 – Prep
What is Oregon known for? That’s right lots of mosquitoes! I’ve found spraying my outside clothes, shoes and gear with Sawyers Permethrin minimizes the amount of bug repellent I need to apply to my body. For those times you need a little extra, I use Sawyers Picaridin. It worked fine for me through Oregon.
Step 2 – Transportation
I started north from the Rim Visitor Center on the popular PCT alternate trail. This wasn’t my first visit to Crater Lake but it was my first time to walk the rim. By the way, wildfires were the cause of the hazy views and photographs.
I was very concerned about the 26-mile dry stretch between Rim Village and Thielsen Creek. I knew there was potential for water caches maintained by trail angels but I didn’t want to depend on them, especially as a friend was driving by on her way to Crater Lake and was able to drop off a gallon in a couple locations.
The food at Shelter Cove Resort was great. The staff at the store and cafe were friendly. They’ve created a nice covered area for hikers with recharging station, hiker boxes, picnic table, etc. While I was there campers in the vicinity brought treats to the area.
Oregon makes it easy to obtain permits in most areas. Self registration is available at major trailheads and road crossings. This is my friend Ron, a long time section hiker, who joined me for a few days.
This was my third visit to Three Sisters Wilderness and I was excited to see the mountains up close and personal from the west side. After spending three weeks on the Oregon Coast my body wasn’t acclimated to heat, thus I used my umbrella to help reduce the affects.
I knew Anish was on trail and that there was a tiny chance we would cross paths. We came so close to missing each other but as it happened her and Adam were going to grab water at the same lake Ron and I had stopped at to camp. If you haven’t heard Anish completed her goal of hiking the AT, PCT and CDT in 2018, that’s about 8,000 miles. Here’s the link to her story, “Heather Anderson Completed a Calendar-Year Triple Crown.”
The rumor is that Oregon is flat. Well they may be fibbing a little. This was my most challenging climb, partially because I was hiking it in the afternoon heat. I believe this was Koosah Mountain, north of the Elk Lake Trail junction.
Mesa Creek was a wonderful oasis, with water so much nicer than that gathered from the lakes. I took a break here at 8am and as I was about to leave I saw my trail friends, Hot Lips and Caveman, who I’d had a nice conversation with at camp the previous night. I briefly met them at Shelter Cove but didn’t see them again until that arduous climb up Koosah Mountain.
As we said our goodbyes and she rushed up the trail to catch her husband, I got into my rhythm and suddenly found myself looking down a slope with my upper body propelling myself into a fall. These things happen. No big deal . . . until I found my wrist contorted and yelled HELP in hopes Hot Lips was still within ear shot. As luck would have it she heard me and rushed back to my aid.
Here’s the link to the rest of the story, “Life Interrupted . . . Forever Grateful for the SOS Button“
- June 17-25, 2018
- Section C: 17.8 miles
- Guthook Mile 1839.2-1847.9 +9.4 miles for Crater Lake Rim alternate
- Section D: 54.3 miles +4 bonus miles
- Guthook Mile 1847.9-1878.2; 1906.6-1907.9 +22.7 miles for OST alternate to Shelter Cove/Odell Lake
- Section E: 57.8 miles
- Guthook Mile 1907.9 – 1965.7