We made it back to Crater Lake in time for lunch, and found gracious homes for the rest of our trail magic goodies.
Crater Lake is off the beaten path so hiker resupply options are generally limited to mailed packages or the offerings at the small camp store. However, between what was left of our treats and the foodstuffs Britt brought to share, we filled up the previously barren hiker boxes with free food and headed back to the trail.
With a final hug and kiss I bid farewell to my parents, grateful for our time together and feeling as close to them as I ever have.
It felt good to be back on the path but I admit that my pack felt freaking HEAVY. I decided to carry 8 days of food and we were approaching a 20 mile waterless stretch.
We joined up with the rim trail and headed up toward the lake
Upon reaching the cool waters, I took an opportunity to offer thanks to my parents and my friends and family who pooled resources to feed the hikers.
The lake cast a different glow in the fading sunlight and it started to get cooooold.
Camping is not permitted along the rim trail so we walked off onto a side trail to set up camp.
We experienced a magnificent sunset and then braced for the cold night ahead.