Sunday, August 10, 2014

PCT day one Rim Village

Rim Village to 5.5 miles from highway 138

11 miles

Forest fire sunset at Crater Lake

Day one, my friend drove us down to Crater Lake and on the way we had pizza and salad just outside of Eugene.    We also left two one gallon water caches for ourselves.  We hid them just off of the trail.   We found the hiker box at Mazama Village and as luck would have it, we found a perfect sun hat for my daughter in the box.  She needed a sun hat but I had been reluctant to buy one because I knew she would just lose it. 

There was a "campground full" sign at Mazama but they did have RV sites available, so I used my golden access pass and got an rv site for half price.

 We car camped at Mazma and in the morning my friend drove us to the Rim Village, where we started our hike around 7am.  The lake was hazy due to all the smoke from forest fires.  Just before the start of our hike I discovered that my topo maps were not loaded into my GPS so I would have to use my street map for the first 200 miles.  I did have a track log and waypoints for the trail in my GPS but no topo map and no map showing exit trails.   So I could see the trail with my track log but I could not see the terrain or the exit trails.

As soon as we started walking my daughter said her back hurt, but soon she forgot her back and complained about her arch hurting.  Then about two miles into our hike she sat down and refused to move.  This was not good.   We were in a 27 mile waterless stretch; we needed to hike at a reasonable speed.  I put mole foam on her foot and she said that helped. 

 We stopped just before the trail leaves the rim of the lake and had lunch.  I cooked ramen mixed with oil and dehydradrated hamburger but I threw out the msg laden flavor packs.  After lunch we waited out the heat under the shade of some trees.
Lunch on the rim
At 3pm we headed into the woods and towards our first water cache, but first we yogied two liters of water off of a kind RVer.  The parents in the RV family could see that I was having trouble with my daughter and they were sympathetic towards me.  I had trouble getting her to pack up to go, she was ignoring me and feeing chipmunks instead of packing up.
half an hour to get her socks back on
1/2 days worth of dirt

Three thru-hikers passed us before we went into the woods and we leap frogged with them in the woods.  Also four thru-hikers passed us on the rim. 
"Bossy Glide On" is in this group
After a mile or so into the woods my daughter went on another sit down strike, said she had a headache. I was very frustrated with her at this point. We had trained for this hike; I knew she was physically capable of doing this.
 I stopped and waited for her strike to end. While we were stopped I was suddenly hit with the same head ache and lethargy that my daughter had. A few days later I would figure out that we had elevation sickness. We got up and slowly hiked to our first water cache where the horse PCT connects with the unmarked hiker PCT, aka the Rim Trail. We had a little bit more than 4 liters of water in this first cache.  I split the water with my daughter.
A few miles later I was horrified to learn that my daughter had used an entire liter of water to clean out her cup.  She was down to just one liter and I was down to three liters and we would not be able to reach our next water cache until the next day.  I told my daughter that meant that we had to hike until sunset so we could be as near  as possible to water stash on highway 138 in the morning.
I liked the forest here, it was so different to the forests I am used to and the light was very interesting with a storm rolling in.

High dry forest, so different from home
Suddenly lightening started flashing all around us and the thunder rolled in and the wind blew in the tree tops and we knew we were about to be drenched.  So at 7 pm we pitched our tarp as fast as we could and hunkered down for the coming storm.  Lightning flashed around us, but there was no rain.  I was worried about getting trapped in a forest fire.   I knew that there was a road just one mile from the trail that ran parallel to the trail so I figured that could be an escape route , but without our topo map there was no way  to know what the terrain would be like.  Would we get cliffed out if we try to escape to the road in the event of a fire?

Waiting for the storm to really hit, lightening flashing all around us
Then at 9 pm, just when it was too dark to see the rain came down hard.  The rain pelted our 8 year old tarp tent.  I had to keep my light on and look for leaks.  Drops of rain hit our faces but the tarp was not really leaking, this must be the “spray” effect with silnylon?  It was only a couple of drops so it was okay.  I could see where a drop or two came through the main seam but then it quit leaking.  But the seam over the rear vestibule was leaking.  The leak was tolerable because the water was just running down the mesh and into the rear vestibule, not into the main body.  Over all I think my tarp tent held up quite well to the pummeling it received.

Rear vestibule with leaking water running down the bug netting
none of the water got into the tent, but it was close.

Just barely dry under the front vestuble there is our
precious 2 liters of water in the bottle on the right.

Dry where the tent was and now
we have an extra liter of water
Soon the rain let up and I went outside with my headlamp and saw that we had managed to collect a liter of water off of just one side of our tarp tent.  So we had 4 liters of water again.  I was happy to have some extra water as I had a headache and was worried about dehydration, but my output was clear so I did not think I was dehydrated.  I had not realized that we went up to nearly 8,000 feet on this day and we live at sea level.  We were elevation sick.  8,000 feet is too much to go up in one day!

About  11 miles hiking for us on our first day.

Camp robbers?

Deer wanted our salt
Day One:
Day Two:
Day Three:
Day four:
Day five:

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