Chronicles of the Wayward Moot

WELCOME TO THE MOOT, oh world-wanderers and word-whisperers. After two years of Peace Corps. After 2,200 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. What. Comes. Next?


What do you do if you're at a beautiful lake on a particularly sunny day all alone and there are dozens of helicopters and airplanes flying around overhead? Get naked of course! Notice that since I've started taking protein supplements I may be skinny dipping but I'm no longer skinny / skeletal. So many of the hikers I've seen heading north the last few days look like they're on their last legs. Too bad my camera's timer doesn't go long enough to allow a photo of the naked cliff jumps. Imagination is all you'll get this time around.

Soon enough the smell of burning forest approached and I decided to hit the trail just before the sun set and just GO until I got good and far away from the danger. Here's what the view near Grass Lake was like as I entered the fire cloud. That night I went until about eleven pm almost never using my headlamp because the moon was so bright. Incredible feeling walking through towering hemlocks at night with only the moonlight streaming down between the trunks and branches and the stars blinking in the heavenly firmament cliche.

The next day I walked up to this sight at long last. Remember, the summit of Wizard Island is more than 700 feet above thesurface of the lake. Nobody can comprehend beauty on this scale without witnessing it first-hand for him or herself.

Shortly after arrival I witnessed some daredevil pilot committing a big no-no. See that little white speck ont he blue to the right of the Island's slope? That's a small single engine fixed wing aircraft circling the island. NOT ALLOWED, say the park employees I hung out with while there. If only I'd had a camera with a good enough zoom to record the registration numbers on the side There is already a helicopter at the bottom of the lake with two bodies still strapped in their seats, and noone wants to add anything foreign to the purest and clearest lake waters on the planet. (For the record, I would have loved to fly where these people were flying, rules or no rules.)

The summit of Garfield Peak, roughly 2,000 feet above the water level. I was going to makea low impact camp up there but was followed by two attractive young ladies whom I asked to take my photograph. We got to talking and lo and behold, my old boss from the Wranglells in Aaska 8 years ago is the new Chief Ranger at Crater lake. SERENDIPITY again! They invited me to a crater crawfish boil (crawdads from the crater taken for research purposes by the park's biology research staff apparently end up in the bellies of said researchers... a hiker from New Orleans encountering a crawfish boil in Oregon?!?! lucky lucky) and gave me a ride down to HQ to see if my friend was in his office. Not only was he, but he had photos of me from Alaska on his computer. Creepy coincidences still afoot I say. Imagine the Crater Whale's delight upon laying eyes on THIS crater. That was one happy whale, and I'm glad I was able to take part in expanding its horizons.


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