Friday, August 16, 2013

On the PCT from Crater Lake to Willamette Pass

 (See previous blog for first half of the trip!) 

Our trail continued on day 5 along the rim of Crater Lake.  Our progress was slow as we kept stopping, taking photos and saying the word, "wow" in as many different ways as possible.  It was an incredible morning, but all too soon, we were hiking north away from the lake  and towards the wilds of Central Oregon.

We met back up with Susanna, Jasper and Rori just past highway 138 for some food and a much needed resupply of water.  In late afternoon, we continued on in to Mt. Thielsen Wilderness. 

Over the next four days, we hiked north another 78 miles past more mountains than we could count.  In between the mountains were glorious lakes, some so small we could throw a rock over, some so large that we could only faintly see what was along the far shore. 

Finally, with rain threatening, we climbed up to a rocky overlook of Odell Lake.  Our final destination (Willamette Pass) was less than a mile away.  Suddenly, a bald eagle flew by...perfect end to such an incredible trip!
"The Watchman" (elevation 8,013 feet), the high point along the rim of Crater Lake

Taking in the view above Crater Lake

The trail north of Crater Lake...Mt. Thielsen off in the distance

A classic old PCT trail symbol on a huge, old tree

Mt. Thielsen

Campsite on a ridgeline with incredible views of Thielsen

Thielsen Creek with Mt. Thielsen beyond

Tipsoo Peak

Cowhorn Peak 

Diamond Peak looms huge beyond Summit Lake

Backpacking along Diamond Peak on our final day

On the PCT from Fish Lake to the rim of Crater Lake

For 8 days in late July and early August, my brother John and I backpacked about 140 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail in Southern and Central Oregon.  During this time backpacking, Susanna and Jasper, with the help of our friend Rori from Wisconsin, worked as "trail angels" to resupply us with food and water. 

On July 31, I met up with John at a PCT trailhead near Fish Lake.  John had just completed a 36 mile segment from Green Springs Summit to Fish Lake  (a segment I had already completed).  Susanna and Jasper wished us luck and off we hiked, northbound, in to the Sky Lakes Wilderness.  Over the next four days, we backpacked a little more than 61 miles.  The land was spectacular, a mix of old forest, sparkling blue lakes and jagged mountains.  On the morning of day four, we exited Sky Lakes Wilderness and entered Crater Lake Wilderness. 

In the mid afternoon of day four, we met up with Susanna, Jasper and Rori along the rim of one of the most spectacular scenes in the world:  Crater Lake!  The first half of our journey was complete...
Campsite on the shore of Trapper Lake

Trapper Lake with a perfect morning reflection

One of the Snow Lakes

Climbing up Shale Butte in the heart of Sky Lakes Wilderness

View of Devil's Peak from our lunch spot on day 3

Perfect lake for a swim (Cliff Lake)

Union Peak

Far off view of the mountains along the rim of Crater Lake

Crater Lake...certainly one of the most stunning scenes on earth!

Backpacking high above Crater Lake

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Susanna, Jasper and Rori take on Southern Oregon

In late July and early August, my brother John and I headed out on to the PCT for a 8 day, 140 mile backpacking trip in Southern Oregon.  During this time, Susanna and Jasper met up with their friend Rori from Wisconsin for an exploration of their own in Southern Oregon.  This exploration included 3 nights at Lake of the Woods, 2 nights at Crater Lake National Park and 2 nights at Paulina Lake in Newberry National Volcanic Monument.  Half way through the adventure, we all met up at Crater Lake.  The whole event was a huge success.  Here are some of the highlights:     
Jasper is excited about the upcoming dinner!

Jasper spent a great deal of time exploring the natural world around camp
Rori accompanies Jasper during one of his favorite pastimes:  throwing rocks!
The half way point at Crater Lake!

All smiles along the rim of Crater Lake

Paulina Falls
Jasper pointing out the wildlife at Paulina Lake

Exploring the old lava flows in Newberry National Volcanic Monument

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A visit from Vegas

In late July, we had a wonderful visit from Susanna's parents.  We spent a lot of great family time together and explored all over the local area.  Some of the highlights include:  a hike at Fleener Creek in the Lost Coast Headlands, a visit to Sequoia Park Zoo, a hike at Arcata Marsh, exploring the Eureka waterfront, seeing some of the historic buildings in Eureka (The Carson Mansion and Eureka Inn), visiting Fort Humboldt State Park and the Loleta Cheese Factory. 
Jasper explores the driftwood at the bottom of the Fleener Creek Trail

Abu and little Jasper at dinnertime!

An excited little boy at the barnyard section of the zoo

Jasper on a walk with the family!
The Carson Mansion in Eureka

On the trail at Arcata Marsh

Picnic at Fort Humboldt State Park

A big boy!!