I woke up this morning to a spectacular sunrise over Crater Lake. My tent faced East giving me a beautiful view as I ate breakfast in bed. All too soon it was time to pack up and hike.
The first half of the morning the trail followed the rim of the lake around giving us nearly constant views. The trail then headed north away from the lake and down into the woods. The rest of the morning and the first part of the afternoon was a somewhat boring hike through trees.
Around 3pm, Jewel Thief and I arrived at the Mt. Thielsen Trail. The trail headed 2000′ up to the towering pinnacle of the mountain. Dropping our packs we headed up. The trail was steep, requiring us to occasionally use our hands as we scrambled up scree slopes. Near the top the sandy gravel gave way to larger rocks. The last 80′ of the peak was a true climb- stretching the limits of what I will climb without a rope. The summit was well worth the effort. Sweeping panoramic views stretched out in every direction.
We slowly made our way back to the packs and hiked another 2 miles to water and campsites directly below the north face of Mt. Thielsen. My body is exhausted from carrying a heavy pack after an 11-day hiatus. Hopefully a good night’s rest will have me fully recuperated for tomorrow’s hike.