Day 9: Bend to Roseburg, Oregon

Trip Start Jul 29, 2007
Trip End Aug 18, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Oregon
Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Day 9: Bend to Roseburg, Oregon via Crater Lake

covered 275 miles
Abby meltdowns: None of note.
Highlights: Crater Lake, Sighting of Hawaii license plate (a tough #47 in our quest for 50); late lunch at Crater Lake Lodge; driving narrow, curvy, tree lined mountain roads through nat'l forests back to I-5
Nat'l Park stamp: Crater Lake Nat'l Park
Weather: splendid; sunny and in the 70s
Phrase of the Day: "That was basically the way Tahoe used to look." Overheard from another onlooker as we first approached Crater Lake.
Overnight: in Roseburg, along I-5. Nothing special about the destination, just near where we got back to the interstate. (The actual point where we hit I-5 was a casino -- Seven Feathers -- but we passed on that. Looked a bit past its prime.)

Trivia Question: What was the name of the mountain that erupted to form Crater Lake?

Answer to trivia question from yesterday: The Deschutes river runs through Bend (see picture). Ann rafted down it during her summer in the Northwest in '96. No winner, participation was down, but we are hoping for some renewed interest.

Answer to bonus question from yesterday: Kansas. So said a roadside sign. Probably has something to do with Eisenhower.

We awoke to a great day in Bend, found a quirky coffee shop for Ann, had breakfast in a park and left south.

Since this was a National Park-centric day, Paul will take it away...

You might have guessed today's grand destination after we stopped in Bend yesterday -- w/in striking distance of a rather striking Nat'l Park. That set us up nicely for a day at Crater Lake Nat'l Park. It's a place you can take in in 10 seconds (the wow factor) yet spend days enjoying it. It is spectacular. We sent our time driving the Rim Drive (clockwise from the north entrance) stopping at many overlooks and taking a short hike at one point. Had we more time, there is a boat trip you can take around the lake. We also took a short drive to an area called The Pinnacles -- left over spires from eruptions and lava/fume flows long ago. The rest of the rock has eroded and left these things that were hardened by fumes. See the pictures.

CL is the deepest lake in the US and 7th in the world. It's depth means the water is a deep blue (the reds and yellows from sunlight get absorbed near the surface, but blues go deeper and reflect better). Hard to tell, but it seemed Abby was captivated by the lake at one point, just staring at the blue. Was it the brilliant color? By the way, as you might expect our photos don't do justice to the color -- you'll just have to come for yourself. If you're into snow, try winter; CL gets 500 inches a year, and they do plow a portion of the park.

Only disappointment: the visitors center. I'd have to say it is the saddest one of any major park I've seen. Really small, nothing more than a shop to sell stuff (though the logo and most of the items for sale were on par). Nothing to speak of as far as exhibits, though there are some decent interpretive signs along the drive at the lookouts.

Paul has been counting license plates since we left DC and we started today w/ 46. Paul doubted we would complete the 50, thinking Hawai'i to be out of reach. Well, at our 2d stop in Crater Lake, we pulled in behind a worn out Subaru w/ HI plates. The folks had actually taken our picutre at the 1st overlook stop and vaguely explained they were "in between places" right now but had recently lived in HI. They loved HI, but who wouldn't. Now with 47, only CT, RI and AR remain. Odds look good for completion, though little RI might be the tough get.

Misc happenings of the day: We had our first and second power failures of the trip -- once at the lodge in Crater Lake and once at our hotel in Roseburg. Both lasted only a few moments, but no weather to speak of -- what's up w/ Oregon?

We've been tracking wildlife seen since we left. It got pretty boring back east so we expanded it to animals seen -- cows and/or cattle; horses; mules and/or donkeys; various rodents; various birds. Didn't get interesting until the bighorn sheep in Colorado. We've since added some deer (and possibly an elk, though we think it was just an impressive deer), a rabbit and/or hare, and a vulture. Oregon takes the award for odd livestock: we've seen llamas and/or alpacas; ostrich and/or emu; and something we're still not sure of. We obviously need some help on identifying animals. And still no yeti sightings (though there was a split second doubletake once, until we realized it was just a dude w/ a ponytail and beard getting into his hyundai).

Blog out, for today.
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