The day started as usual with the cleaning and packing of cars. Then it moved on to an attempt to gas up those same cars. The first station had no premium gas and the second station was a fair distance away from our selected route. However, it all worked out in the end and we set off up the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway again, this time to Crater Lake. It was a first visit for all but Curt and Darlena and their last trip was in 1976. Apparently not much has changed since all the buildings date back more than a century.
After a scenic drive, we entered the National Park and made our way to the Visitor Center, where we watched a video about the volcanic explosion that blasted the crater out of Mt. Mazama 7700 years ago. The crater then filled with absolutely pure water from centuries of snow falls. To this day, the area receives 44 feet of snow each winter and the lake is fed only by this source as there are no rivers running either into or out of it. The pureness of the water gives it the extreme blue color you see in the photos, even bluer than Lake Tahoe. We found out at the Visitor Center that only part of the Rim Road was open as they were still clearing away winter’s debris. So we knew we would not be able to drive the complete circuit. We made a number of stops, getting different angles of the Lake and Wizard Island. We also made friends with the wildlife, thanks to Rosemary’s bag of almonds which were very popular. We entered the Park at the southwest corner and exited at the North.
By then we were getting a little hungry so we drove through miles and miles of pine forests to the Union Creek Resort, built in 1922, and Beckie’s restaurant, where we were served huge lunches and even larger slices of homemade pie. Following lunch we made a bee-line for Medford and took Interstate 5 south to Ashland and the Ashland Hills Hotel and Suites.
There, Mike and Denise Re left the group to head home via freeway to make sure they would be there in plenty of time for their daughter’s birthday and the upcoming birth of their first grandchild. We will certainly miss their company as we finish off the last few days of the trip.
No one was very hungry for dinner, but we sat around to make plans for tomorrow’s leg to Sacramento. Unfortunately, the Sommars were unable to join us for this trip at the last minute so we will have to drive his leg for him.
Pics from Darlena & Curt
Pics from Daryl & Rob