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Published: August 2nd 2014
Looked like a pretty scenic and relaxing drive to Crater Lake, so we're gonna start with breakfast at Steamboat Inn. Took in a couple more hikes to waterfalls. Ruth saw something about a unique rock formation so we drove to find that. I have often commented I wish I would develop a relationship with a geologist, as I find the earth's formation fascinating and would love to travel with someone knowledgeable. In this case it looked like vertical columns of "crystallized" stone. We are seeing quite a variety of volcanic and plate tectonics in the various regions. It is particularly interesting to see evidence of rock layering on mountain tops that indicate at one time being at the bottom of a body of water.
After posting one of the photos from our journey on Facebook, I got a message from old college friends that they were also traveling in OR..."Let's meet at Crater Lake lodge for lunch?" Judy and John were good friends back in Champaign, IL. John and I were in architecture school together, got our first jobs there and birth of our kids. He now lives in Wisc. but has been working on a large project in the
Bay Area. Their daughter lives in Portland and after visiting her will be driving back to Wisc. Anyway, we were excited by the chance to see them after who knows how many years. Everything was working out great, stopped at Diamond Lake area to check it out...beautiful, although a little crowded, can only imagine during high season. Got within a mile of the lodge, with half hour to spare and stopped to take first amazing glimpses and photos . And then...land slide! We were going to be late and AT&T, as usual, had no connection. (Can't figure out why Verizon invariably gets connection where AT&T can't) Finally, after 30 minute wait, we made it past rock slide, only to be held up another 15 minutes in the parking lot for road work. On top of all this the east loop road is closed for additional road work...what a mess.
We finally found John and Judy, had a nice lunch in the lodge and took a hike around the rim of the lake. It was early evening, so J&J needed to head toward Bend and we got settled in the lodge. We had lucked out to even get a room
in the lodge (after several calls earlier in the year, caught a cancellation) and now found we had a corner room overlooking the lake. A ranger put on a informative presentation regarding the formation and characteristics of Crater Lake. 2,000 ft deep and standard measuring system indicates clarity is measured to 140 ft.
Dinner reservations were full (and expensive), but you can order from the bar and eat at small tables in the main lodge with the fireplace. It actually worked quite nice. Ruth and I started talking and realized we both had the same thought...do we want to spend another day and night here? ...not really. I checked with the receptionist and mentioned they should notify people when making reservations that there would be a lot of road work. Turns out the rock slide was actually intentional in order to prevent an unexpected one. They were very understanding and said we could cancel with no penalty...so we did. Crater Lake is absolutely gorgeous, but there are no hiking trails or any other activities. I feel for those planning a trip later this summer.
We got up early the next morning to catch the sunrise, then a nice
breakfast on the window in the lodge, and were off...
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