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Published: September 11th 2015
So after Vicks said in the last blog about how lucky we were with the weather, this seemed to upset the Gods that night and it properly peed it down. Absolute buckets. The tent stood up to it but we got very little sleep.
We left Olympic NP very early (still raining) and headed down towards the coast of Oregon. I was pretty excited as we were going to stop in Astoria to see The Goonies house. We were running low on cash and decided to pull in at a drive through ATM in a pretty bleak looking place, called Aberdeen, only for our card not to work. It got worse too, we spent 50mins on hold to Halifax to get the card working only to get cut off.
Anyway we decided we should sort it out later and left along with our remaining $60 for Astoria. When we got there my hopes of seeing the iconic Goonies house were dashed. The current owners seemed so miffed off with tourists coming and ogling their house (about 15 people turned up in the 10 minutes that we were there) that they had cut off their nose to spite their face
and covered all of their windows in blue tarp. We went and saw the sea lions at the harbour instead (not as entertaining).
We had nowhere booked and decided we would just head for a place on the coast aptly named Seaside (clue’s in the title with that one – did have a nice beach). We rocked up to a camp site, it was full, then went past a number of others – all RV only. Panicked and then found “Forest Lake” campground. The clue was not in the title with this one, there was no forest nor lake, only a pretty crap campground. We agreed to hand over $25 dollars on the promise of hot free showers then headed back into Seaside to see what delights it had to offer. We got up early the following day and finally got our card to work (after 3 calls) – this was a good feeling and we squandered a whole $5 dollars on coffee and some salt water taffy.
So the day got off to a good start and continued that way. The coast of Oregon is amazing. Very rugged, amazing sandy beaches and not too busy (even though
it was Labour Day). We stopped at loads of places on the coast and then came in land to a cheese factory. Lots of free samples which staved off some hunger. We then re-joined the coast in search of our next stop off, Cape Perpetua. The campsite was dead empty but the beaches around the area were awesome. Saw some sea geysers too. We also stumbled across a cool bar in the village near our campground that did GF pizzas which meant we immediately had to try it out.
After a fairly early start we headed towards Crater Lake (managed to book in advance for a change!) so we decided to take in a lot of stops en-route, some proving to be a lot more “interesting” than others. First up, more top notch empty beaches and huge sand dunes. I felt the need to sprint down the dunes at full pelt – seemed like a good idea until I had to get back up them. Secondly Tokotee falls – a pretty cool waterfall not too far from the main road. Then finally, Umpqua Hot Springs. This was on the more “interesting” side. After reading in a guide book that
there were some natural hot springs on the side of the mountain we trekked up the required ½ mile to get there. What the guide book didn’t tell us was that they were regularly frequented by a bunch of hippies taking baths – fully in the buff. We dipped our legs in, careful not to look in the wrong place, got scared and then left.
We arrived at Crater Lake in the early evening. This again sounds exactly as it is, a massive lake in a crater of a volcano that last erupted some 8,000 years ago. Some parts of the lake are 500m deep. Stopped off for a couple of breathtaking views of the bright blue lake and headed for the campground.
So that brings us to today. I am currently sat in a laundrette at the campground after hiking 5 miles to the highest peak in the park and 2 miles down to the only place where you can access the lake. We took a dip in the lake (freezing) and then felt obliged to jump off a 15 foot ledge into the lake after watching countless other people doing it. Still, scared the hell out
of me! Off to Lake Tahoe tomorrow, once our washing finally dries.
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