From Bend we headed for South Oregon and Crater Lake National Park. We decided to buy some snow chains for our rental cars tyres (not that we knew how to use them). As we did not know what the road conditions would be like around the National Park, and we had seen signs along the way saying that snow chains were required.
It was about a 2 hour drive from Bend and we could already see snow-capped mountains in the distance. We did not see as much snow along the sides of the roads as we had been expecting (much to Billy's relief). It was quite a scenic drive what with mountains and lovely pine trees and redwood forests.
As we drove from Fort Klamath to Crater Lake, the roadside snow became steadily deeper. We arrived around midday and were happy to see that there was lovely blue sky and sunshine with very few clouds. Due to the time of year, not much is actually open in the park itself, but fortunately the road to the crater is snow-plowed daily. And wow, was it worth the trip to see. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the US (592m).
It is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and is the most beautiful deep blue we have seen (when the sun shines that is). After taking a few photos, we took a walk along one of the side roads to get a different view. I do not think we have seen this much snow before (Crater Lake gets around 15m of snow every winter and spring arrives relatively late here). Another interesting fact is that there are no rivers that feed into the lake, it is all due to the melting snow! It was quite cold, especially when the wind blew, but we were well prepared for this weather by now. The clouds came over quickly and soon it started to snow lightly, so we decided it was best to leave the park whilst the roads were still clear.
We are staying in Crater Lake Bed and Breakfast in Fort Klamath, which is the smallest town we have stayed in so far - it has a general store, a few motels and a vast expanse of farmlands. This was our last 2 nights of luxury before we go back to our tent (and our tent will be our home again til
we fly out of New York for home - thats 3 weeks!!). We had a beautiful view from our room, mountains on one side and farms on the other. We decided to go out for dinner, to celebrate Billy's Birthday but ended up driving about 14km to the next town for a motel/restuarant (the food was worth the drive).
After a hearty breakfast the following morning, we headed north of Crater Lake for Diamond Lake Resort. We were hoping to rent some cross-country ski's and spend the day exploring the trails. Unfortunately this was not to be, once we got there we were told that they had packed away their winter equipment for the season. We were quite disappointed but decided to make the most of our day in the snow (probably our last chance of snow for a while). The weather was not as good as yesterday, cloudy with snow flurries. We drove back to Crater Lake and spent the afternoon playing in the snow. Yes, i know we were the only ones frolicking in the snow (and probably looked a bit silly), but we loved it. We had another look at the lake and realised just how
lucky we were with our weather yesterday, the lake was not the same blue and was hard to see with all the clouds about. We were surprised to see that there was a small wedding ceremony taking place at the Lake (i felt a bit sorry for the bride - she looked a bit cold).
We are still like children when it comes to snow, and i do not think that will ever go away. I am secretly hoping we will get snow in Yosemite National Park! We will have to wait and see.
Tomorrow we drive to California and spend 2 nights in Redwood National Park. We are not sure when we will next have internet access, so this may be our last blog for a while. But we will try our best.
Tot: 2.063s; Tpl: 0.09s; cc: 13; qc: 61; dbt: 0.0336s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb