I think part of the reason why I like road trips is because my family used to go on them when I was a kid. I have good memories of road trips in our family minivan. My dad would be driving, my mom would be riding shotgun and my bro and I would each have our own minivan bench to lie down on. On one of those trips our family went to Crater Lake.
As a kid you don’t really appreciate the amazing scenery, so it’s good to visit Crater Lake again as an adult. Also, road trips are more fun with friends, although family road trips are still good too…
Also it’s more enjoyable for me nowadays since it’s an excuse to bring my SLR and lenses. Ray’s pretty into photography too, and I think by the end of this trip Gid would have been convinced to buy an SLR. I’m really glad that I brought a polarizing filter on this trip, it helps out a lot with the blue in the sky and the reflections on the water.
In some places there was still a lot of snow. In fact, the road over the eastern rim of the lake was still closed due to snow, so unfortunately we couldn’t drive the whole loop around the lake.
We missed the last boat for the day, so we just relaxed in camp. Dinner was hobo meals. We came up with a business plan for a hobo meal food cart– Hobo Hong’s hearty happy meals. It’s a pretty good business because I wouldn’t need a lot of working capital to start it– all I would need is a shopping cart, a metal trash can to build a fire in, and a whole bunch of foil. So if I lose my job with the state due to budget cuts, I guess I have this business to fall back on.
In the morning we hiked down to the lake to catch a boat ride. The trail down to lake level had tons of switchbacks.
The boat ride was pretty nice. I only wished it had some protection from the sun. The boat tour was pretty cool though, the lake’s geology and hydrology is actually pretty interesting.
The water is so clear– you can see over 100 feet down.
The boat ride allowed us to see scenery we wouldn’t be able to see from the rim of the crater, like this pair of waterfalls. The water is so blue, it just makes you want to go for a swim. Which I did, after the boat ride, we found a place where you could cliff dive from. I’ve always wanted to try cliff diving, and this seemed like just about the safest place I’ve ever seen to do it. It was only about a 20 foot drop into really deep water– just about the best conditions possible. So I jumped. Twice. It was really refreshing, and my wet pants kept me cool for the long hike back to the rim. I think Gid recorded my big fatty splash on video, so maybe I’ll upload the video later.
After our boat ride we continued driving North toward Portland. Along the way we stopped for dinner at a roadside diner in a tiny town. The prices were cheap, the portions were huge and the people were friendly. Plus there’s no sales tax in Oregon. It was a good prelude for our experience in Portland.
Things I’m thankful for:
- Camera gear like ultra wide lenses and polarizing filters
- The amazing geology and hydrology that makes Crater Lake possible. It reminds me of one of my favorite bible verses, Romans 1:20