START: Callahan’s, Ashland
FINISH: Crater Lake Mazama Village
DISTANCE: 124 miles (199.5 km)
DAILY AVERAGE: 31.3 miles (50.4 km)
TOTAL DISTANCE: 1830.4 miles (2945.1 km)
Views from the edge: Despite some heavy snow and the occasional tricky slope, the ridge top vistas around the 1800 mile mark were the scenic highlight of the section.
Insane Duane: From Ashland to Crater Lake I had the pleasure of hiking with “Insane” Duane, aka “Jedediah.” Hailing from the swamps of Florida, Duane regularly hikes with two packs (one on the front), often walks through the night until the wee hours and is probably one of the strongest hikers I have ever met. Harder than a coffin nail, Duane is a bit of a natural, having only taken up hiking in 2010. There is but one arrow missing from his hiking quiver……..by his own admission, he isn’t the best navigator. Seriously, blind Freddy sans Labrador would give old Duane a run for his money on the navigation front. No one’s perfect!
The final miles before reaching Crater Lake Mazama Village were spent trudging through viewless, snowbound forest.