We've heard so many good things about a place called Callahan's, and after having walked nearly down all of Oregon without a day off, we decided we would splurge and get a room there for two nights - along with eating the all-you-can- eat spaghetti and pancake meals they offer for hiders.  We heard a rumor that the restaurant was closed on Tuesday, so we thought that if we walked 30 miles a day, we could get there on Sunday and would be able to enjoy everything.  So with a renewed goal, we powered ahead and made our first 30 miles!  And we felt good!  Usually we're both sore towards the end of the day - when we get up from breaks, we hobble down the trail until our muscles warm up and stretch out again.  It's made us laugh multiple times - we look like grandma and pa!  But no, we felt really good and couldn't explain it!

Now the next day was a different story!  But even though we were less strong and spent a lot of time talking with other hikers, we were still able to get our 30 miles in.  The terrain is perfect for big miles!  We did climb up near Devil's Peak for our first views of  Mt. Shasta, but other than that, there wasn't much elevation gain and loss.  We tried observing a Meteor Shower from our camp that night, but didn't end up seeing too much.  It still was pretty though.  (This was actually night one from Crater Lake.)

We slowlyNight two we stayed at the Brown Mtn. Shelter with Eric and Joan Jet (Bump) and Freebird.  We passed the Walking Sisters who I was excited to see since I followed their journal while at home.  It was good to chat with that group!
Ø      Lava beds - grrrrrrr..........
Ø      Amazing stream by the road, so refreshing!
Ø      Mt. McLaughlin

The next day I was not feeling so strong.  The hot weather and little water just about wilted me.  But we made it to Hyatt Lake and enjoyed some pizza and ice cream - talk about revival!  We got our box, packed up and headed out again.  I did receive some news from home that sapped my revival again.  My Uncle Tom recently had a stroke and after a few months, passed away at home. Such devastating news - on such a beautiful day walking through some of the prettiest trail I've seen with butterflies flittering, the wind blowing through the tall grass, my heart was heavy and tears flowed from my eyes for the pain my family must be experiencing.  Please keep them in your prayers - the loss of a husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend is great for many.....

A storm rolled in and we made camp with the sound of thunder and rain drops as our lullaby....

 made our way to Callahan's - the owner picked us up on the road with his dump truck!
J And then when we climbed out, we were met with enthusiasm by our Northbound friends, Tradja & Jess (Swipe)!!!  We dropped them off at the Southern Border and had been anticipating our meeting for so long - what perfect timing because Jason and I got a room and those two plus Eric all got to enjoy it for some time as we caught up and ate fruit and other yummy things!  What a blast!  It was so good to see them!!  Good memories.J

So we've been Eating, resting, Eating, watching Toy Story 1 & 2, Eating AGAIN - it's been so great!  We're on the move again though!  Ready to cross that border into California tomorrow!  Oregon has really truly been beautiful - so many good memories to take with us!  Seiad Valley - here we come!
We carried our leftovers into the woods and set up camp on a not-so-flat spot - it was getting late so that was what we settled for.  It was OK because we got to have pizza for breakfast J (you'll probably notice my notes on food grow more and more as we go!)  We walked on past Diamond Peak (and fresh springs - no yucky lake water) passing and chatting with other hiders along the way.  We made camp on the trail overlooking Cowhorn Mtn. and the rising sun in the east - a beautiful morning that was!  Jason was making me laugh and a hiker walked up on us - He said it was nice to hear laughter out there. J
We were surprised to meet Trail Angel Lloyd Gust at his water cache at Windigo Pass that morning.  He's a wonderful man in his 80's (1) that will do all that he can to help out hikers in Central Oregon.  A-mazing!  We were beaming as we hiked on at the perfect timing of getting to meet such a wonderful man!
There's very little water in this section, so getting to Thielsen Creek felt really good.   Mt. Thielsen was beautiful as we climbed up and saw the flowers and views of Western Oregon...so nice (well worth the effort to get up there).  We're just chugging away the miles - getting closer and closer to Crater Lake - the excitement continued to build.
We went through just about the ugliest woods I've ever seen getting up to Crater Lake.  Almost all the trees had grass looking tumors on them, probably from a bug infestation.  But then we walked into the Pumice Desert, with pumice rocks everywhere.  We took a break and met Jean and Bill, section hikers who we would later see two more times (and hopefully again when we get near their home in Carson City!)  Our maps happened to be misleading and it felt like it was taking forever for us to make progress - I flung myself and my poles and pack onto the ground - tired and frustrated and hot.  These two brought a renewed hope to the situation.  So we continued on, and soon met a Jehovah's Witness in the woods.  It's not everyday we see a man with a tie on out here.  Jason and I were bewildered at what the man proceeded to spew out of his mouth.  He flipped through the Bible to verses with record speed and pounded us with questions and a silly grin - and this all after we told him we were Christians!  We really didn't know what to say to him but we hoped that we never did anything like that to others.  A relationship with Jesus is much more valuable to us that whether or not we can answer all of life's questions
We chatted about that bizarre encounter for awhile, made dinner, then met the three men who that guy was actually waiting for!  And they were a riot!  We talked with them for a long time before the final ascent to Crater Lake.  
As we were nearing the Rim, we are walked up on by another Southbounder!  What a surprise!  Eric had walked about 38 miles that day!  Others told him we were ahead and sure enough, he caught up with us just in time to enjoy Crater Lake together, and the sunset.  It was fun to catch up with him and learn all about what was happening behind us - we would later have dinner with him in Mazama Village, and then see him here and there on the trail until Callahan's.  We took time off there, and he continued on, so I'm not sure if we will see him again.  I do hope so.
But back to Crater Lake - we camped on the Rim down away from the wind, but in the morning enjoyed a beautiful sunrise together.  We took lots of pictures as we walked closer to the Rim Village - the water was so blue and stunning to look at!  I bought some new earrings at the gift shop and we stopped into the Visitor's Center before heading down the trail to Mazama Village.
There we showered, did laundry, drank chocolate milk, went through our Resupply Box with good notes from friends (thank you!) and talked with some Northbounders - we went to an all-you-can-eat buffet with Eric, and boy did we eat!  We had 3 people come up to us who were so curious about our hike and we just had a hoot with them.  Their questions and enthusiasm were hilarious!  (They had a little to drink and two of them lived in Miami, if that helps paint a picture!)
We left (nearly 4 hours later!) and walked in the dark to the trail where we made camp on the nearest flat spot.  We slept underneath the stars with full bellies and a new friend - So wonderful!
 JCrater Lake ended up being an amazing place to see, and now the border of Oregon and California is on the horizon! 
Oh man!  Over 900 miles done!
These are Pages from Cassandra's Journal that Crams received recently.  All you have to do is click on each one and it will open full size for you.  Then click your back button to return to the Blog and do the same for the next page.
I'll fix other pictures I've posted to open to full size as well.
Hi Friends and Family! 
It's Cassandra here, and thanks to our neighbors, we have some internet access for a little while!  Thanks you guys (you know who you are ;)!
So we're in Etna, CA, enjoying our motel room and a zero day.  I've enjoyed looking at all the comments and catching up on Facebook-thank you for your continued prayers and encouraging notes!  We'd love to reply to them all but you know, internet access is limited in the wilderness and in these little towns!

We've crossed the 1000 mile mark and yes, we could be overwhelmed by how many more miles we have to go, but we're excited about it...California is just a whole new adventure waiting for us!  The Sierras, Lake Tahoe, vistas, Trail Angels, autumn weather, more time together...It's good!

On to other important news, I've eaten my second beef burger tonight-I've thrown in the towel and have been eating all that I can, especially with protein.  It's just so hard to eat enough on the trail-I was thinking about contacting a friend of mine asking for the most calorie/fat intensive meal he could create with backpacking food.  It's not too often we can live life with goals like eating the most fat possible!  And I'm still skinnier than I have been since middle school!  It's truly a concern that we eat enough to make sure we have energy to keep up with the demands of walking over 25 miles a day with a pack on, so pray for our health!

We're moving on to Castella tomorrow and like I said, we're looking forward to all that God continues to bestow on us, especially this time together.  We're sending our pictures from Oregon and more journals, so hope you enjoy those!  Let us know if there's anything you'd like to see more of or hear more of!


This is the 2 month anniversary of starting the trail and we still have about 3 more months to go. What a journey! We are both feeling strong, although we have both lost weight and are trying to eat more to keep it on. Tradja and Swipe finally made their appearance, we met them at the "Kick-off", drove them to the border and said, "see you somewhere in Oregon."  It was so great to catch up with them, as always, God's timing is perfect.
Oregon was a State of contrasts, mountains, deserts, lava fields, burnt sections, forests, lakes ridges, it's beautiful! A lot of NOBO's think that its just a filler before getting to the Cascades, b we SOBO's see it differently.  We're definitely in the middle of the Northbound herd, and see people every day, most of the time taking time to stop and talk (some days its hard to make progress down the trail).
Our relationship is very much like our hike, it has started out pretty challenging, but we are learning to adapt and have hope for greater things to come, but you can't get there without the challenges of the beginning.

We are loving being on this adventure together!

Jason and Cassandra called 8/19 from Seiad Valley at 6:00.  They got their resupply box, and were ready to hit the trail for another 6 or 7 miles before calling it a day!
Cassandra says that hiking feels more like this is the life they live now.  The days just seem not normal if they are not hiking.
A 30 mile day is not unusual now. 
But .. today was hot.  As we talked on the phone it was 103 degrees. 
They are currently in a valley, but it is cooler up in the mountains.  They will be back in the mountains tomorrow afternoon.
Jason said that Seiad Valley reminds him of the terrain around Leavenworth, so he felt right at home there.
By the way ... Cassandra treated herself to a hamburger today! 
It wasn't that good, though.
But, the milkshake was awesome!!
Jason called Cindy, and here is the latest ...
Took 2 zero days at Callahan's.  It was wonderful!
The cell phone battery is dead, and the charge is at the next resupply point.
Before getting to this point they did 3 - 30 mile days in a row!
Got to catch up with Traja and Jess and have some good time discussing hiking experiences.  They are NOBO.  Met them at the PCT orientation last Spring.
Now, it's on to California!!
Should hit the 1,000 mile hiked so far.  Half way in another 300!

Cassandra called.  Cell phone  really almost dead! 
Got to Hyatt Lake Resort where they give hikers FREE ice cream!!  Yahoo.  It had been the hottest day yet, and the ice cream was sooo good!!

Have heard lots of good stuff about Callahan's, so will be pushing on for that as the next unplanned stop.

All is well, but in need of more PROTEIN!

Hope to hear from them soon, but it sounds like the battery charger is still a few days away.

Rich got a call from Jason this morning (Thursday)  Jason and Cassandra made it to Crater Lake on Wednesday, and spent the night on the ridge. 
What a gorgeous view when the sun came up this morning.
I am soooo envious!
The cell phone battery was running low, so the conversation was short.  Mostly we discussed the next step toward getting the VW Bus working by November!

Off to Hyatt Lake Resort, the last check point in Oregon..

Cindy mailed the next package to Etna, CA.  The one should be at Hyatt Lake already.
Sitting at Big Lake Youth Camp, I'm still processing the fact that we just hiked the state of Washington. Scenery has been outstanding, we see a mountain in the distance and then go walk around it. We've started to encounter Northbounders that stated at the Mexican border. crazy guys that are racing to be the first ones to the Canadian border to get a prize that doesn't exist. It's a journey, that's it, whether you do it in 3 months or 6 months, 15 miles a day or 0 miles a day, it doesn't matter.

As Keith Green said, "You can run to the end of the highway {or trail} and not find what you're looking for, to find yourself you've got to start right here."

There's something competitive in the heart of man that needs to be put to death and left unchecked. It leads to nothing but trouble. I find that competitive urge coming up sometimes when my mind says you should be doing 30's, or you could probably be doing 40's like those guys. I quickly think about how I would rather enjoy the time with my wife and the views on the trail. I already know my identity and it has nothing to do with being the guy who finishes the trail first.

My identity comes from my Creator and it has nothing to do with finishing the trail!