Day 121: Left the campsite at a good time and headed to Crater Lake. The hike started out with a pretty decent uphill that we totally crushed. I went off ahead as the others stopped to get coffee I think. The hike was beautiful. I was not actually on the PCT at this point. A high majority of hikers hike the West Rim Trail instead. Which is so beautiful!!! You’d be walking within trees then all of the sudden walk to an open spot to see the bright blue water looking back at you. Lots of small up and downs, endless winding, walking on roads being constructed, it was different. Finally I was hiking behind a small hill which would in the end wrap around at a main spot to look at the lake. In the short distance I could see a lot of smoke from the fire still happening. Side note: afterwards speaking to people who left yesterday afternoon, the smoke was so bad the lake was grey and barely visible. So we were very lucky to have good views of it. I ran into Simon, he had wanted to get some sun rise views, but said it was too cold this morning so he got out a little later than he had wanted. I get to the main spot and WOW!! It’s insanely beautiful here. So many tourists though so I go off to one end and sit and hang out. After awhile Simon, Tim, Freckles, and Dash show up. We all enjoy lunch together before heading on. It was super fun to hike with everyone. We continued walking past a lot of tourists before heading out into the trail which was a big flat open area. We knew we had a few miles to walk before there was a water cache left for us to refill. When we got there I had service, and received a message from my good friend Brit. She got engaged!!!! I was so excited!!! It made me instantly so happy and gave me much more energy to keep hiking on for the day. We passed Mt. Thielsen and Thielsen Creek before setting up camp. It’s a quite a beautiful day. Time to get back to normal Oregon hiking tomorrow.