The fire closure meant that we had almost no chance of leaving Crater Lake National Park first thing in the morning, so we slept in and wandered over to the restaurant for breakfast around 7:30am. In hindsight this may have been an error. Bear in mind breakfast is really quite tricky to mess up. First my poached eggs and sausages came out cold. Then when I sent them back I got told “I don’t know how they could be cold, I didn’t leave them standing at all”. The second attempt was simply the original eggs that had been reheated and had turned into plastic, plus the two uneaten sausages again reheated. Once they realised they’d not replaced the incomplete sausage, they brought a new one in a huge side dish. When I asked for the plastic eggs to be replaced with something edible, I got sighed at a lot. Chug’s chicken fried steak came out after his eggs and inedible potatoes because the cook forgot to turn the fryer on. Maybe not an “avoid at all costs” kind of place, being the only place to eat here, but certainly a “temper your expectations” kind of place.
After the palaver of breakfast we resupplied and took the free trolley up to the rim of Crater Lake so we could at least see it before rerouting round the closure. It was pretty, but not as stunning as I can imagine it could be, and I’d love to come back and see it when the fire dies down. We managed to yogi a ride back down the hill to Mazama Village but the crowd of hikers was still hanging around outside the store and it was clear that escape routes were still being formulated.
In the late afternoon, Devilfish showed up and offered to take hikers round the closure. He’s been maintaining water caches near Tehachapi at mile 550ish and Hat Creek Rim at mile 1400ish, and is now helping hikers at mile 1800. Impressive, and incredibly generous.
We ended the day at highway 138, and camped just a little way into the forest, not wanting to night hike to the next flat spot. Not ideal, but at least we’re on the trail again.
Miles: 0 (23 trail miles skipped for closure)
Camping: Mile 1853