Day 99: Sunday, August 11

Cowboying on the trail on the Crater Lake Rim (sshhh) (PCT mi 1834.9), walked 18?? miles today

Woke up at 7 after a very nice sleep but didn't feel good at all, so I lay back down until about 8:30. At that point I didn't feel any better, but it was 8:30 and I couldn't really condone staying in my tent much longer. Got up and was on my way by 9 ... Had no appetite whatsoever all morning and only managed a few handfuls of nuts and gummy bears for the 12 miles to Mazama Village. By around noon I started to feel better, which was a plus because I was getting to the restaurant within an hour and it would be a shame if I still couldn't eat. Pulled into the village around 1 ... I always have the same unfounded worry when I get to places like this, which is that I won't know where the other hikers are or there won't be any around or something like that. And then always the first thing I see is a gaggle of hikers taking over some picnic area drinking beer with their gear spread in every direction, and my heart is warmed and my fears put at ease. The same thing happened today--the crew was HB, Halfway, Feather the other Swede, a dude named Lightning Rod, and two sobos whose names I didn't catch (not that it matters because they're subhuman).

I showered, threw in laundry, got my maildrop box and then realized I had the appetite for a meal, so I went over to the restaurant and got a sweet-as pork sandwich and a milkshake that took me longer to finish on its own than the rest of the meal. They were remarkably friendly to me as a lone scraggly hiker and let me charge my phone in some random outlet without me even asking. As a hiker, you really never expect anyone to be especially accommodating to you at any major tourist attraction that deals mostly with clean, car-driving people. And no one expects the food at a national park reataurant to be a good deal. But I guess the good Lord was on my side today.

After the meal I passed some time at the picnic tables with the other hikers, who were mostly in the bag by that point. Even feeling better, I wasn't going to try to stomach anything stronger than a soda. I left my Outdoor Research hat, which had been with me since Mexico, at the shelter a few mornings ago when I was especially discombobulated, so I needed a new headpiece and scored one in the gift shop--a little purple number with a bear on it and the words "I'll be your hucklebeary." If Huckleberry was my new trail name, as was immediately suggested by others, I would not complain.

HB, Halfway, L-Rod and I hiked out from the Village at about 6 and went uphill to the Crater Lake Rim over the next few miles. Once up, we hiked along the Rim for a bit until it got dark, then dropped our stuff and called it a night on a flat part of trail. HB, who claims to wake up several times a night to pee, said he'll give a holler if the Perseid meteor shower is good at any point.