I recently made a trip to Bend, OR to take care of some business. One of the 4 glorious days there, I decided to take a drive to Crater Lake National Park, roughly 2.0 hours away. It was a beautiful, crisp fall day, the skies were dark blue, sun was blazing – PERFECTION.
Crater Lake was formed 7,700 years ago when a volcano erupted and collapsed. It is also the deepest lake in the US, 9th in the world. Because the only source of water for the lake is snow and rain, it is also one of the most clear lakes in the world. The dark blue color of the water is outrageous.
I made it to the park entrance and started the 33-miles (53-km) mile loop around the crater. As I started to ascend the narrow, winding road, the wind picked up. So much so, my gigantic rental SUV was literally ALL over the road, including the other lane. There are no shoulders, so steep drop-offs were within inches. Terror sank in.
At times, the curve of the road felt so tight with oncoming traffic, I just stopped the car to catch my breath. Thankfully, the attendance in the park was low that day.
I INCHED my way up to the visitor center, hoping the wind would die down and a hike would be in order. NOPE, didn’t happen. It was so windy, I thought my phone was going to blow out of my hands. However, I did manage to get this iconic snap of the lake. After 15 minutes and a hotdog, I turned around and headed back to Bend. Shortest National Park visit in history! (Thank goodness for yearly passes)
Crater Lake is a STUNNER. I do plan on going back to visit – for camping and some pretty amazing hiking opportunities. At this point, not sure how I will get around that lake – Sean’s driving terrifies me too!
Maybe I will just do the Ride the Rim (on a bike) event they have every year. Better get my butt in shape.
…i choose this…