Oregon – Day 1 – Rediscovering a Love Affair with Crater Lake

How did those pioneers headed out to the Oregon Territories ever sit in a covered wagon with no suspension all day! After 8 hours of traveling in a modern SUV  with ergonomic seats I thought my south-end would never get any feeling back. I was anxious to get to Crater Lake National Park but 7 hours in the seat was a bit much.

Early Start

We had set the alarm for 3:30 AM in order to take advantage of the light traffic and sneak through Portland while everyone else was asleep. But excitement got the better of us and at 3 AM both Theresa and I were wide awake but trying not to make it obvious so that the other could sleep. By the time the alarm went off we were a couple of miles down the road.

If there’s going to be any driving in the dark, I much prefer doing it before sunrise rather than sunset. I’ve alway found it hard to keep focus when the sun sets if I’ve been behind the wheel all day. Plus you have the bonus of beating traffic.

Other than long the drive was uneventful. We had a mix of weather; everything from mist to rain to fog. Once we got of the I-5 corridor at Eugene and turned east you could really feel fall. The colors became more vibrant, temperature drop and the air. had that crisp hard edge to it.

Crater Lake National Park

Turning into the park, the first thing we noticed was the huge number of bikers. Apparently there was some kind of challenge to pedal around the rim. Then the lake came into view. This was my second time to visit this park,however it has been 39 years and it was Theresa first time. She was on the phone with her sister and became so excited that she jumped from the FJ before I could park and yelled for me to come back for her when I found a turnaround.

We setup our camp and returned to hike the west rim of the crater with a compass looking for a perfect vantage to capture tomorrow’s sunrise over the lake and Wizard Island. After checking a dozen vantage points I believe I found a good location. Gear is back and ready so it will be another early morning for day two.

To be honest I had hoped for a late start to the morning but with the weather being so clear I’m just going to have to suck it up and set the alarm for 2 hours before sunrise.

Even so, I’ll still get to sleep in longer then this morning.

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