Mile 1784.5 to mile 1818
Today there are frogs on the trail. Dozens of little brown frogs, the exact same color as the dirt. Hopping westward. It’s some sort of frog exodus, a national day of terrestrial frog migration. I don’t want to step on the frogs but it’s hard to walk fast and see them at the same time. I try not to think about it.
I am walking fast today. There’s a twenty mile stretch without water and I am flying along the ridgeline, my backpack like a cloud on my back. There are the endless forests before me and in the distance some pointy spent volcanoes, Oregon style. And then, in the evening, I am tired. I am tired but I push on grumpily, dehydrated and sore. I catch up with Instigate and we play “what if” while we hike. What if we night-hiked all the way to Crater Lake? What if we did a 45 mile day?
The egg-yolk sun is setting in the ghost-white burn, throwing long bands of light over the fireweed. We’re hiking and meowing, hiking and meowing, one mile then three then five. At last we hear a short meow in response and find Spark in the flat, open forest, his tent pitched on the sandy floor. We roll out our bedrolls and eat dinner. Our feet hurt and we’re tired. Crater Lake will have to wait until tomorrow.