Maidu Lake to Diamond Lake

Exhausting days do not always make for restful nights; neither Brianna nor I slept well. There was a half-called tree creaking loudly in the night as a midnight wind blew in at us from across the lake. We lay wide awake for many hours past when the creaking finally settled down.

Howlock Alternate

Our day was one of more alternates, the Howlock Mountain Trail. We had 8 miles to Howlock from camp and another 8 almost entirely downhill miles to Diamond Lake. The Howlock Trail was a doozy! It’s not a well-used path… well enough that I could see where it was without getting lost, not well enough to have much trail maintenance. It couldn’t have been a mile down before we ran into an America Ninja Warrior-style obstacle course of HUGE down trees. The carnage looked more like the product of an avalanche than it did a wind storm.

Brianna and I made our way up, over, around, and under the trees for about a mile. It was fun until it wasn’t, and we were ready to be done with it. We wear a few scrapes and bruises from the trek.

The Thielsen Creek greeted us around lunchtime, leaving plenty of time to chill before pushing through the day’s final 4 miles. My shoes immediately came off, sandals on – feet in cold water for the win! Cold mountain water on hot swollen feet is ecstasy. Taking the time to clean your feet in the middle of a hiking day seems pointless, but damn does it feel good.

Our final 4 miles were nothing special. We walked on sandy horse trails through a burn area. It was a great opportunity to pull out our sunbrella’s for some mobile shade, no regrets about bringing those.

Diamond Lake Resort

Diamond Lake Resort is a pretty cool spot to crash after dirty days on the trail. I’m learning that the word ‘Resort’ means different things to different people. Diamond Lake has about as awesome a location as a resort can get, on the shore of the beautiful Diamond Lake, with mountains in the background, on the doorstep of the Crater Lake National Park. The resort itself is circa the 1990s, particularly the motel room we are staying in tonight. I’m not complaining, I dig it. Hard to beat $133/night at a gem like this.

Temperatures are heating up here for the next couple?/few? weeks. Probably need to start doing some night hiking. Those, however, are future me problems. For today, a hot shower awaits.

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