One of the places we were most excited to visit was Crater Lake National Park. I've wanted to see Crater Lake ever since I wrote a series of poems inspired by photos from the National Parks... here is the photo I selected from Crater Lake:
Can you believe that snow?! We, too, saw snow, though here in July it wasn't that deep, of course. Turns out Crater Lake is a very snowy place and gets on average 44 feet of snow per year.
On the day we visited Crater Lake, it was chilly and overcast. When we arrived at the guard station, the park ranger warned us that we might not see the lake (which is visible 99% of the time). He was brusque -- "No refunds," he said. We didn't care -- we were there, and we were going to have a good time no matter what!
Well. Here is what we saw:
I know! Talk about disappointed... especially after we watched the 22 minute film (with a number of other disappointed tourists) showing us the glorious bluer-than-blue water. So we thought we'd do a little hike. But guess what? It was COLD. We needed hats and parkas and gloves... that we didn't have. So, reluctantly, sadly, we left the park. Big, big sigh.
AND THEN.... that night, as we were cozying into our digs at Bend, Paul said, "you know, it's only a two hour drive. We could go back, give it another try."
So we looked at the weather, and the forecast was awful for the next two days, with only a slight chance of things improving the following day, when we were scheduled to attend Sisters Quilt Show -- another major reason we chose to visit central Oregon (after I learned about it during my travels related to Leaving Gee's Bend). We went early for the quilt show, thinking that if the weather improved (we kept an eye on it by checking the handydandy webcam online that shows the rim view), we'd dash back to the park.
And guess what? The weather DID improve! We could see the lake on the webcam! So, goodbye, quilts! (Here's a picture for your viewing pleasure... oh, I took so many pictures! What gorgeous, gorgeous works of art!)
And here's the Crater Lake we found waiting for us (video courtesy of Paul):
Yay! So, so gorgeous. In the movie they show at the park, people report what they felt when they first saw Crater Lake. For me, the words that come to mind are grateful and awestruck. My throat got tight, and I couldn't even talk. What a beautiful moment.
All this to say: See Crater Lake. You won't be sorry. xo