The Magnificent Crater Lake: The First National Park Visit of Our Journey
We are still in Oregon and spent the last week at Diamond Lake. We wanted to visit Crater Lake National Park and the campgrounds at Diamond Lake (just 12 miles away from the park entrance) looked best for us. After checking out the campground at Mazama during a hike in the park, I think we made the right choice.
We spent a couple of days at Crater Lake, and it did not disappoint. The lake is simply stunning. Honestly, we couldn't stop taking photographs. See our Facebook Album for edited highlights - we have about 100 more! The lake is the deepest in the US and the water is so blue, it almost doesn't look real. We hiked up to Garfield Peak to seek out a more impressive view and get a good workout at the almost 8000 ft altitude! Another day was spent hiking along Annie Creek Trail, which was very pretty but with no lake views. We planned to hike Cleetwood Cove as well. It's the only trail that allows you to get down to water level. Alas, the rain and thunderstorms put paid to our plans. Yes, we are fair weather hikers. So Cleetwood Cove and the boat trip to Wizard Island to hike to its crater will have to wait until the next time we pass through.
Diamond Lake is also very pretty if somewhat overshadowed by it's larger neighbor. While not as spectacular as Crater Lake, the bike trail around the shore has beautiful views of Mount Thielsen. Our campground for the week was really pleasant, with friendly staff - who even help you back you into your space. I wanted to fold the wee man up and put him in our truck to pull out at every stop. Yes, he was that good! There's another campground across the road right on the east shoreline of the lake where we will stay the next time we visit. Our Airstream will have solar panels by then so we will not be dependent on electrical hook ups for extended stays.
This week Iain and I decided to try a new hobby; making up limericks for wherever we visit. Our Crater Lake effort may be our one and only attempt. If you have a better last line, please add in comments, we will credit you when our book of poetry is published ;-)
There once was a big mountain top,
That would often go fizzle and pop,
One day it went boom,
Leaving plenty of room,
To collect all the rain, every drop.
Surrounded by National Forest on all sides, we also took some side trips during the week. We saw several beautiful waterfalls and the Natural Bridge where the Rogue River disappears underground, emerging through a lava tube formation several hundred feet further downstream.
This was the first week that we really felt isolated from civilization, well grocery stores at least. Already aware there were no real stores near Diamond Lake we stocked up before leaving Ashland. Just as well, given the paltry offerings we found at the local convenience stores. I didn't see a piece of fruit or a vegetable for sale all week.
So the love affair with Oregon continues. From the Umpqua National Forest we move for a few days to the Deschutes National Forest before heading to Bend for the rest of the month. Will we get fed up with all the natural beauty? Read the next post to find out!