We got up and went to the cafe for breakfast around 7:30am. We were packed up and on the trail by around 9am. The day started with the Annie Springs spur trail which was a little over a mile long but cut out the 1 mile road walk back to the trail that we came in on and an additional almost 2 miles on the PCT. It was a good shortcut to start the day, which would sort of develop into the theme for the day. After rejoining the PCY from the spur trail we only had a couple miles to go to reach the Crater Lake alternate. The alternate utilizes 3 trails near the rim of Crater Lake; the Dutton Creek Trail, the Rim Trail, and the Discovery Point Trail. These trails combined for about 11.7 miles of trail that gives spectacular views of the lake the whole way and bypasses 16.2 miles. Yay for shortcuts with awesome views!
The only downside to the alternate was we had to carry enough water to make it 26.2 miles to the next water source, that we won’t reach until tomorrow, which also means additional water to cook at camp. So we loaded up our water bags at the Rim Village, where we also had a nice cafe lunch in the early section of the alternate since the Dutton Creek Trail took us right to the parking lot, who are we to argue with where the trail takes us for lunch? I told Pie, “I love any lunch that allows me to skip my cliff bars for the day.” He thought that line needed to be on be blog, so there you go.
All in all we had a great day of hiking, saw an amazing natural feature, and actually hiked 22.8 miles which jumped us up 27 miles on the “official” PCT. Pie said he needed to give his brother a call about today’s distance cutting shortcuts. Apparently, his brother is well known in the family for his “shortcuts.”
Day 1 of this stretch down. We’ve got 2 days of about 24 miles the next 2 days to set up about 10.5 miles to get into Shelter Cove, our next resupply spot.