2007-08-13 The challenge I couldn’t meet

August 13th, 2007


Dawn over Crater Lake

Today I nearly climbed Mt. Thielsen. I say nearly because the last 40ft or so was simply too scary for me. It had been a CARS (crazy arse rock scramble), steeply up for more than an hour and following the recommended route I veered right at the top until going forward would mean crossing a vertical drop of hundreds of feet before bouncing the next few thousand. Mucho kudos to Rolling Thunder and his buddies that reached the summit last year. I have no idea what route they took but if it was the one I was looking at they are insanely brave. I’d have done it over deep water but not at the top of a 9,000+ft mountain. Anyway I turned back feeling ok about it, preferring to walk rather than slide down. The view was fantastic, I could even see the surface of Crater Lake. If I’ve given the impression that Oregon is all flat and boring then I have misled you. It sure does have some spectacular parts.


Q: Mt. Thielsen? A: Insane!

With that diversion I decided not to reach the next water source and camp here on the ridge instead. As I was tidying away dinner (Claudia, I used your dried tomatoes to liven up my couscous, thank you) a chilling breeze came through and I was glad for it. Next to me was my sleeping bag and I love being cozy and warm inside it as the evening settles in.

When I was at the cabin I caught a news report about the death of a bird in Oregon from West Nile Virus. They were telling people to avoid being outside at dusk/dawn and stay away from stagnant water where mosquitos hangout. Hmmmm, I’ve looked ahead for water sources and most of then end with ‘lake’ or ‘pond’ :-/

One more thing. While rounding the Crater Lake Rim this morning I came across five bikers doing a big tour around the country. One lady asked me two questions I haven’t been asked before. Was someone doing a write up on me back in NZ? Do I feel blue sometimes? I started to tell them about feeling bad on the way into Castella but the feelings came right back so I changed course and talked about the memory card with all the videos on.

Friendly bikers

They were incredibly enthusastic about my trip even to the point that one of the ladies gave me a hug goodbye. It sure gave me a boost and for a while my enourmous pack didn’t weigh so much. They called this couragous, but really it’s just a bunch of consecutive camping trips.

Mt Thielsen

More photos of this day’s journey can be found at Crater Lake to Mt Thielsen

Distance today: 23.3 miles. Total distance: 1859.4 miles

Google Maps

9 Responses to “2007-08-13 The challenge I couldn’t meet”

  1. Peter Andrew Stanton Says:

    I want to [scroll through and] see what you’re looking at, but it will only let me jump to five points in the video… are they always like that?

  2. Rose Clark Says:

    So glad to see that you are doing well. I, as a mother, am concerned about your safety. We all got home in good shape, am so glad to be home. A sore bum and a burned nose were all the bad things I got from riding a motorcycle to Sturgis. Stay dry and warm. And, here’s another big hug to keep you going. From, the lady who gave you a hug.

  3. Alison Says:

    Wow the climb was worth it. From the views it looks as if you are at the top. I suggest the challenge was to recognise your physical limit rather than to get to the top.

    The human contact of a hug does wonders for our emotional well-being. Seems these group of bikers gave you a gift – the gift of listening.

    Enjoying looking at all the new photos and movies. You have enough here to write a book.


  4. Nana & Grandad Says:

    Guess the view from so far up Mt Thielsen was magnificient – we
    are pleased you decided to return the safe way – so many climbers
    don’t live to tell all about their adventures. Keep hiking -keep well.

  5. Peter Says:

    “A bunch of consecutive camping trips” Hahahaha! Dude…

  6. Michelle Says:

    I am excited to read your entries now that we, the 5-bikers, are back home. We did 10 states in 13 days just under 4,500 miles. Similar to your travels in that it was a trip of a life time.

    I am additionally excited to have my students follow your writings as you continue on your path. The one thing that I am curious about is your past trips and the prep involved. Before you head home, will you be going anywhere else in the states?

    You are an inspiration. Continue to be safe. Endless hugs to you

  7. Denis Says:

    Hi Michelle
    Craig maintained an online journal of his earlier travels on another web site. I’ll post a link here when I get the server going. In the mean time here is a photo page I constructed for his hiking in Jutenheim, Norway in 2003.

  8. Rachael Says:

    Also, Michelle, you can read about his training and prep for this particular journey if you start at the beginning of this blog:

  9. Denis Says:

    Hi Michelle,
    Craig’s travels in 2003 are documented on this site Craig’s Big O.E.