Did we just cross back into California?

One Down, A Bjillion To Go A while back we decided to visit at least one National Park a year. Then comes this TV program on Crater Lake and boom! We have hotel reservations, albeit for like 7 months down the road!

Wrong Airport We fly to Portland and pick up our rental car. Four hours later, and we are still driving! Should have flown into Medford instead. The reward at the end is a fabulous sunset over the lake. We are staying at Crater Lake Lodge - another Xanterra-managed lodge where they specialize in [well-meaning] over-promised, under-delivered food! It is right on the ledge of the crater and the views are fabulous; buggy, but fabulous! We drop by the village store for some bug repellent. The whole store was empty, almost ransacked! Turns out 4th-of-July weekend kind'a snuck up on them! Go figure. So we stocked up on what was left - lunchables™ - for our hikes. Thank goodness there is nothing natural in them, so they don't go bad.

No Silt It is the next morning, and it's a gorgeous day. The Lake is super clear - no rivers feed it, just snow melt, so no silt - and the deep blue color is unreal. After breakfast we are off to hike. First is the trail right off of the lodge: steep uphill but the views make it worth our while. Then we head to the opposite side of the lake to hike down to the water. The trail zigzags down for a couple of miles and is full of indians - dot, not feather.

We want to drive the rim's loop road but there's still too much snow and the road is partially closed. So we drive south to see other stuff. At one point we cross back into California! Closer to home than to Portland? Again, should have flown into Medford.

Logde Squirrel Back at the lodge and it is raining. The lodge, she is cozy in the rain! We huddle under heat lamps on the patio, drink hot tea, read, and watch the rain. We take some of our most favorite photos on our departure date: there was no wind, and the lake was just so glassy: a perfect mirror. A nice parting gift to us.

The resident squirrels come to say good bye and we are back on the road to Portland. Did I mention that we should flown to Medford?

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