Hello from Crater Lake, Oregon...we have had a fantastic 9 week trip and are heading back home for Jen and Will's wedding and to see our family. We got back on the road on Thursday, September 1st after the slight delay due to the repair on the chassis. It turned out that there had been a recall notice, in 1993, and the first owner apparently didn’t take care of it. Here it is, 17 years later and the part that was defective on the chassis finally gave way. But with every problem, there is silver lining-the rig runs much smoother than before so all is good.
We took off from Hermiston, the site of the repair, around 6 p.m.; the drive was spectacular at dusk. We watched the sunset as we drove along the Columbia River and then turned south. We were both pretty tired from the stress of the last few days so we decided to call it a day around 11 p.m. and we stayed at an Elks in Bend, Oregon. The next morning we drove the rest of the way to our campground on Diamond Lake. The campground is the closest to Crater Lake and it has been wonderful here. We are in a prime spot right against the Umpqua National Forest and the two adjacent campsites are far enough away and staggered that you feel like you are all alone, most of the time. We had campfires every night and enjoyed the night skies, which were crystal clear our entire stay. Diamond Lake was less than an 1/8 of a mile from our site; the lake is a beautiful blue and is a mecca for fishermen from all around the Northwest. We took a 6 mile walk one day through the state campground and another day we biked the entire perimeter of the lake, about 14 miles. There were deep forests, streams and a beautiful view of the lake during the entire excursion. Diamond Lake Resort was 3 miles from our campground; they had a good-sized marina, store, cabins, hotel and a wonderful restaurant
We spent two days at Crater Lake; the first day was a general overview as this was Dennis’ first trip to Crater Lake. We were very fortunate because both days as there wasn’t a cloud in the sky so we had an unobstructed view of the lake as we drove it’s entirety. It was a bit hazy due to a few lightning fires but overall, it was the perfect conditions for viewing this gorgeous National Landmark. Crater Lake rests inside a caldera formed approximately 7,700 years ago when a 12,000 foot volcano, Mount Mazama, collapsed following a major eruption and according to geologists, it was the largest volcanic eruption in North America in over 640,00 years! If you remember Mount St. Helens, they estimate it was 100 times larger than that eruption in 1980. It is the deepest lake (1,948 feet deep) in North America and the third deepest in the world. Words cannot describe the intense blue color and clarity of the lake, it ranges all spectrums of blues and greens depending on location and time of day.
On another day we went on a ranger guided hike to Plaikni Falls in Crater Lake National Park. The walk to the falls was ithrough an old growth forest, the trail just opened in early July and it was well worth the time. Ranger Mike gave an overview of the relationship between the old growth trees, the animals and plants that are indigenous (word of the day, Jen!!) to the area. After the hike we drove to the Pinnacles and looked at the byproduct of the eruption that created Crater Lake.. The ”fossil fumaroles” are where volcanic gas rose up through hot ash deposits, cementing the ash into solid rock. The fumaroles are hollow inside and were exposed by water runoff , very interesting site and again, well worth the 40 mile roundtrip drive from our campground We also hiked the Pinnacles trail and found the original entrance to the park, now abandoned.
While here Dennis celebrated the anniversary of his graduation from Marine Corps Boot Camp with a dinner at the Diamond Lake Resort. He graduated 37 years ago at the age of 17 from Parris Island, North Carolina. As with most retirees and former Marines, he is still very gung-ho!! Although we weren’t there to witness it in person, Kaia had a milestone in her life; she started pre-school. She will be going 2 full-time days a week and is in a class with 11 other 3 year olds….as a former teacher I admire anyone who can teach any child younger than 7! When I was a principal I would dread the days that I had to take over a Kindergarten or First Grade class because the sub hadn’t shown up yet, an illness or a teacher was late that day; they scared me!!
We are on the road and heading to the Mount Shasta area to spend a few days and then more exploring Northern California.