Tour without a goal – 1 August 2014

Lake Crescent

dawn trees dampened by passing rain
-Hōsai Ozaki

Overnight there was another thunderstorm the first one at. It. Massive flashes of lightning would light up my tent as if a gas lamp was momentarily flipped on. The thunder would echo up from the lake and roll over the hill above me. It rained just a bit awhile latter, but everything was dry when I got up this morning.

flashes of lightning illuminate the night
– back to sleep

I haven’t run into a lot of other tourons of late but today I encountered three. The first was a pair from France who I ran into at a store as I made my way back to the main route. These guys were riding San Diego to Canada as much on off-road routes as possible. They had full suspension mountain bikes and kept their gear in backpacks so they could ride single-track. They said they’d managed to stay 95% off of paved roads. Hard core. Riding away from the store, not yet on the main route I ran into to yet another touron. He was riding a fully loaded Long Haul Trucker with a backpackers guitar (or a rifle) strapped to the back. He was riding Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. It all helps to throw ones own activities into sharp relief.

hurry up and cover that sun

Back on route this was one of those point-to-point sort of days. It was almost all in thin trees, with dry arid land and the occasional trickling stream. The roads became increasingly busy and the section on US97 was easy riding but pretty uninspiring. When I turned off on the hwy to Crater Lake the traffic dropped a bit but the road is ruler straight and climbs nearly 1500 feet. It looked like it just curved up into the skies. Plenty hot now, there were a few fluffy clouds that would occasionally block the sun. Happily it wasn’t as tough as it looked and soon enough I reached Cascade Summit at 5925 feet.

CascDe summit - though I was going west, but there was no sign

Just past the summit you can turn south for Crater Lake but I went north and descended a few miles to Diamond Lake where there is a free Hiker/Biker site right on the water. There I met the third touron I’d meet that day, Aaron who was riding the Sierra-Cascade route south to north. We went to the nearby pizza parlor and over dinner discussed the route and out experiences. Plenty of trials ahead in California with crowds, heat and water it sounds like. Nothing one can do but just follow that stream to the ocean.

Sitting in my tent at Lake Crescent
quiet enough to hear the water lapping on the shore
bird calls; maybe half a dozen varieties
the whine of mosquitos trying to get in
a motorboat coughs to life and roars away
in the distance a train sounds its whistle
the rising sun rises strikes my tent,
    which glows all around me

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