Today is my first day back on trail. I decided to continue my days on trail number so that when I put all my journal entries together, it'll be consistent. :)
Last night, Jenny and I got into crater lake around nine. We rolled into the hiker campground while everyone else was asleep. Found a place to set up camp and Jenny made me a late night dins of Kraft Mac and sausage. I am so impatient when it comes to cooking, I was so hungry but it was well worth the wait. Tasted so gourmet, who would've known. We finally went to bed after very long and hot day of driving.
We woke to the rain and my tent totally soaked. I was surprised my fabric is still holding up all this time. We tried waiting for the rain to let up and just ended up packing out and drove to rim village. They have service out on their balcony so that was nice. We decided to have one last breakfast together and it was so good! I said my goodbye to Jenny, but it wasn't as hard as when she left me in lake morena. I think bc this isn't new anymore it wasn't as scary. I talked to some hikers and loitered at the lobby until my phone was charged. Pretty much any hiker who is Oregon right now skipped the Sierra and those who didn't skip are in NorCal. It's so hard to keep up these days w who is where.
I finally hiked out around noon. There were still clouds but the weather forecast seemed to be doing better and it looked like the thunderstorm was actually moving out. I started on the rim trail, a little nervous about the snow conditions but hoped for the best. It was so amazing to walk as slow as I wanted and take all the pics I could. Basically every viewpoint around the rim was so pretty. I talked to an older couple who was curious about what my mom thought of me being out on trail by myself. The rim trail only had a few patches of snow, it was not a problem at all. There was one area at the watchman where it was a steep traverse but a work crew was cutting in steps. I thanked them and walked on through.
The entire time I was in the park, it felt really weird. I felt like I was just hiking on any normal day. Maybe it was bc there were tons of ppl everywhere and I could hear cars almost the entire time. I took a long lunch around 45 min and it felt so good. A gust of wind came through any almost blew my tent down into the crater! The wind also blew my sunglasses and I guess when I tried to catch it, one of the ears broke off. I was so sad bc they are brand new. I taped them up w some cuben fiber and hope it'll last for awhile.
I finally finished walking the rim trail and took the junction over to the pct parking lot bc there is supposed to be a water cache. I had only carried out 2L so I was really hoping it would be stocked and it was! I was so happy. I walked back on trail and this is actually the first time all day that I was actually on the pct. Almost immediately, it felt so different and remote. Then that's when I started thinking about stuff. I barely passed any hikers today. It's so quiet around me and there is no one I know on trail. I started having flashbacks about last year and how I missed all of my pct friends. I missed leap frogging them in every section, seeing faces i hadn't seen in over hundreds of miles. I missed my traveling family. I miss not being able to finish the hike last year with the class of 2016. We had all started from Mexico and we were in Oregon, all still in it together. I hated that I was forced off trail and now I have to do this alone, starting from square one. Being a section hiker is hard. Everyone else is on a different schedule and those you meet, you will prob never see again. I feel so solo already.
I walked until sixish and felt pretty good. I thought I would maybe walk till seven but I passed this couple setting up camp and thought maybe I should invite myself but I passed and wanted to camp by myself my first night back on trail. I think I'll try to talk to more ppl tomorrow now that we're out of the tourist zone. The water report for Oregon is not up to date and makes me a bit nervous. I have no idea how much I'm supposed to actually carry. I'm not very sleepy right now. I don't think I worked very hard and def didn't feel any hiker hunger. I hope I didn't over pack my food.
As I lay in my tent, everything feels a bit weird. I know I'm supposed to be out here finishing this but I think I just really miss my class and familiar faces. I think back on the desert days where everyone was new and we all had so much fun. The pct is hard. Socially and mentally. Now the bugs are buzzing outside my tent and giant ants are crawling on my mesh. Can't believe I'm doing this all over again.