A slight breeze cools the air on the thick forest that lies on Oregon’s hillsides. The trail has begun to narrow through more of a shaded forest, a forest scattered in pines with light green moss dripping from the trunks and branches. The grade of the trail has become more flat and the miles seem to fly by. The water however has been stretched thin but our pace and stride allows us to cruise from creek to creek. Oregon has been a great new change, after 1,700 miles in California.
The other night Outburst and I were at Crater Lake ( pictures below) and found an incredible stealth campsite right on the rim- perfect for sunrise! Crater Lake was formed by the collapse of Mazama Mountain 150 years ago and is known for the depth and clarity of the water. The depth of the lake nearly meets 2,000 feet and the deepest in the United States. It was an amazing site to lay eyes upon and a morning sunrise to remember.
Even with my broken foot, I feel the power and the strength in my legs, feet and mind. Long distance hiking teaches you things like perseverance, acceptance and gratitude. Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail takes no pre-requisite course, it’s something you learn as you go, you adapt, you change, you seek- you find, you learn to set and break goals, you push, you relax, you sing, you laugh- then you stop. You stop on a rocky ridge, dazzled by the endless landscape, the fluffy puffs of clouds soaring above and the light shimmering lakes below, you stop and have these moments of freedom, peace and you look out upon a sight that is one of a kind- a view you worked for and views you will never forget.
I’ve heard the saying ” the people are the trail,” this saying is something that speaks truth. The people you meet, hike with, pass by, the people who support your journey, the people who share kindness and give you rides and feed you, the people on and surrounding the Pacific Crest Trail have been incredible. I’ve met 100′s of hikers, mostly northbounders and been starting to see a few south bounders which is neat. I’ve had a few different little groups that I’ve hiked with for most of the trail, had the Summer Breeze Trendsetters, the Four Horseman and the Virginia boys but my most constant partner and someone I’ve hiked most of the trail with has been Outburst. She is a gorgeous young lady with a wonderful spirit and someone I’ve grown to adore. We met on my third day and I still remember that first moment when I introduced myself to this red headed beauty from Montana. We hiked in the desert, the Sierras and now through Oregon together. She’s a smart, witty, intriguing, confident, happy, kind, caring and the list is never ending, she’s just a totally awesome person and someone who is impossible to forget and always easy to miss. She’s been so compassionate and thoughtful with me through the whole broken foot thing and the way we look out and help out each other is so cool. We have experienced a lot together in the past 4 months, including my favorite day which was Mt. Whitney, and through getting to know Outburst I’ve totally fallen in love with her. And it’s something that might be impossible not to do after you meet her. She is truly an amazing person inside and out, she has a smile that is as captivating as a shooting star, eyes that you just drown in, dazzling red hair that always falls into the perfect place and there is something about the way she looks at me that just drives me crazy! So to end this short story, I have found the best hiking partner in the world and the most beautiful woman to spend time with!
“Okay. The story is about a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He’s enjoying the wind and the fresh air-until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore. “My God, this is terrible,” the wave says. “Look what’s going to happen to me!”
Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him, “Why do you look so sad?”
The first wave says, “You don’t understand! We’re all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn’t it terrible?”
The second wave says, “No, you don’t understand. You’re not a wave, you’re part of the ocean.”
From ‘Tuesdays With Morrie’