7.9 miles (Miles 1772.6 – 1780.5)
Lake o’ Woods Trail Junction – Hwy 140/Fish Lake
It was 2am when I heard Tears say, “Toots, wake up. Toots…” I guess it took quite a few tries, but finally I woke up, “Yeah?” “There’s an animal out there by our food bags.” Then I heard my dad say, “I heard it too.” I flipped on my light and shone it around but didn’t see anything, and thankfully our food bags were still hanging in the tree. We were all wide awake at this point, talking loudly, joking and laughing. I think we all figured our normal noisiness would scare away whatever was out there. We later figured it must have been a bear the way it crashed through the brush towards us, then sniff around our food, and finally, Tears actually heard it breathing. We think it slowly meandered down the trail directly past us. Freaky!
After we figured it was safe and our critter-visitor was gone, my mom and dad both got out to pee, and when my mom got back in the tent she got stung by a meat bee! Who gets stung by a freakin’ bee at 2am? It wasn’t a bad sting, thank goodness… we all got giggly and had a hard time falling back asleep. At one point, there was an impromptu fart-off between two or more parties in our tiny tent community, and there was an overall winner… which I am ashamed to say (because of my trail name) wasn’t me. We finally giggled ourselves to sleep, and I’m sure there were no critters for miles after all that chaos.
Later that morning we woke up, still randomly giggling about the night before, discussing what our critter-visitor could have been. Sasquatch? Liger? We didn’t know… we settled on a regular bear. It seemed to make the most sense. With that behind us, we hiked.
Our landscape changed drastically shortly after we hit the trail. We hiked through streams of giant, sharp and rugged, dark lava rock. We all imagined what these lava flows must have looked like when it was blazing orange and hot, slowly crawling down the mountain. Now it was hardened and split into large chunks of sharp, porous rock. Our trail confused me. It was orange, and unlike anything else around us. I figured it must have been brought in to make the trail – which was fantastic, by the way – but it also appeared to be volcanic rock. Either way, the contrast of the orange trail, black rocks, green trees and bright blue sky with puffy, white clouds delivered a beautiful scene for us to spend our last hiking day with my parents.
After about eight miles we heard vehicles and saw the road. Then we saw the pickle jar, and then Aloha! He was on the trail with a cooler of ice and beer! We all sat on a log and visited before heading to the Fish Lake Resort for a great lunch.
On to Klamath Falls. We checked into a hotel room, resupplied me and Tears at the store, got Hawaiian shirts for my parents, and head back to our room. We all showered the layer of trail dirt off, then visited the hot tub. After that we ate a giant dinner at Sizzlers across the parking lot and rolled back to our room with overfull bellies. We had a really fun night together.
I’m looking forward to Tears and I crushing some miles these next two days, and we’ll meet back up with Aloha, Poots and Pappy for a night of camping and a visit to the Crater Lake Rim Trail. I can’t wait to hear all about their trail magic, too!
Tonight I love being with my favorite people in my life all at the same time. I’m one stinkin’ lucky girl.
Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!