Driving toward Crater Lake

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Driving toward Crater Lake

A Crater Lake adventure!

Sarah had planned a glorious adventure: We would drive down to Smith Rock to climb for a day, then spend a day at Diamond Lake exploring, and then hit the jewel of the trip – a sunrise exploration of the Crater Lake rim.  From the rim, we’d stay nearby, explore Crater Lake, relax, take a boat ride, and have a great time.  We’d packed the car, made trip itineraries, and Ollie was safely at camp for the week.  All we needed to do was drive…

 

Tuesday, 29-August-2017

After our evening adventure, we slept in.  It was glorious.

We drank Dunkin’ Donuts, we ate breakfast, and even made sandwiches.  It was awesome.  And best part – we woke up to a glorious sunrise over Smith, thanks to the campsite we’d snagged, and the fact that we’d been too tired to actually set up a tent.  We’d slept under the stars, and could roll over and see the sunbeams shining onto the rock.

Or… in theory we could.  I didn’t have contacts in.  So I couldn’t see anything.

Also, there were forest fires that made everything hazy and thick with smoke.

 

That last part was the big theme of the day, unfortunately.  Thick, cloying smoke that messed with breathing and vision and plans.

 

We had debated staying at Smith an extra day, but since we’d burnt most of our energy on the epic the previous day, and since the smoke was already wafting in from the nearby fires, we decided to travel South, pressing on toward our destination of the evening: Diamond Lake.

As we drove though, the smoke didn’t get better.  It actually kept getting worse… we stopped in Bend to catch our breath (literally, in Sarah’s case), and pick up some nasal sprays to try and make the air breathable.  They didn’t work so well, unfortunately… but having lunch in an air conditioned (and thus filtered) cafe was definitely a pleasant reprieve.

 

The final decision came when we stopped for gas in a town called Crescent.  While filling up, we heard some subtly pertinent news – specifically, that the highway ahead of us was on fire.  And closed.  But mostly the fact that it was on fire.  That’s subtly pertinent when on a roadtrip.

We turned around and went home.  Cooked steak in the kitchen, drank some beers, and got annoyed at the Northwest for being on fire.

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