Sunday, July 10, 2016

Crater Lake

Hi there.  Are you growing tired of the blog?  It's a bit of a labor of love for Debbie and I.  Ultimately, it serves as a journal of sorts when we want to wander down memory lane to recall the many wonderful experiences we get to enjoy together. As I think about it, you and your comments then become a pleasant addition to those experiences.  But, if you've grown tired of my blabbering just tune me out.

So 25 June we drive from Crescent City, Ca. to Collier Memorial State Park near Chiloquin, Or. which is maybe 30 miles from Crater Lake National Park.  It's a pretty drive but a smidgen intense. Significantly winding roads with a bunch of hills. Not a big deal but then I notice  I have a trailer attached to the back of the truck so I have to pay attention. This is our first taste of camping in Oregon State Parks and it's very nice.  Paved roads, paved spacious sites, all very well maintained.

Our site was close to enormous so we took the opportunity to set up our screen room.  We had a screen room years ago and setting it up together was nearly grounds for divorce.  Not true of our new room, "The Clam".

Their video says set up takes 45 seconds.  Must be magical!  But in fact, total time for set up with one person was maybe 5 minutes.  It's a great space for beating the "skeeters" plus we can lounge about with the dogs lollygagging without being tethered.

Day one we settle in and day two we head for Crater Lake National Park.  The lake is profoundly beautiful!! When describing it, the literature always refers to the blue.  Think something between royal and sapphire.

The facts:  At 1949 feet deep, it's the deepest lake in the US.  It's about 5 miles by 6 miles. (that is darn deceptive as you look across the lake)  There are no rivers or streams running into the lake. It's fed entirely with snow melt and rain which explains the purity/clarity of the lake.  The constant level is maintained by evaporation and seepage through a porous portion of one of the sidewalls.  We hear the rangers speaking of the perfect weather we're enjoying.  Our traveling luck is impressive.  The lake is like glass which enables the photographer half of this blogging team to capture some mighty nice reflective pictures.

Scenery surrounding the lake  is also beautiful

We  thought this girl was an elegant  addition to the scenery 

If our birding research is accurate, this frequent visitor  to the park is a Clark's  Nutcracker

The road around the lake is 33 miles but it's not open all the way due to snow.  Regardless, we go with a two hour, ranger narrated trolley ride primarily so Duane can gawk and not drive off the mountain.

As we all know, the success of this sort of outing is largely dependent upon the quality of your guide. Our guide was outstanding!

Debbie and I are surprised we haven't heard folks rave more about Crater Lake. We would put it way toward the top of the many wonderful destinations we've enjoyed.

Monday we have to drive 100+ miles one way to Bend, Or to do some face to face banking. Apparently Bank of America is not particularly popular in Oregon since that was the closest location. It's all good. While there, had pizza and wings  Lord we do love the health food! Bend seems to typically receive rave reviews.  It did have nicely maintained downtown areas as well as a great riverfront.  Ours was a quick in and out visit  so I have little else to share (your lucky day).

Tuesday back to the park.  Did some short hikes, strolling really, watched the park film (great as always) and made the mandatory purchase.  No no, not chips, T-shirts.  Left the park fairly early. There's road construction and mucho traffic congestion so we decided to depart. On the way home we stop at the logging museum which is part of the state park.

It's "tool time" boys.  They may describe it as the largest collection of logging equipment in the NW, or maybe the USA or was it the northern hemisphere? Obviously I don't recall but there's likely more there then you really want to see. So I got my fill of logging stuff.

Two man chain saw

In all fairness I'd say this is a comparatively short segment of our blog so I'll take this opportunity to bring you up to date on some much "needed" information.

You ask, "just how small is the camper?"  So glad you asked.  The box is 24 foot with a 3 foot tongue so it's considered a 27 foot camper. It's a Jayco 24FBS.  It's a 1 bedroom, one bath!  I'm amusing myself.  From front to back:  The bedroom has a queen size bed that you can walk around, a trio of overhead cabinets, two small wardrobe spaces and two good sized nightstands.

The mattress that came with the camper is miserably hard and uncomfortable.  We put a cheap, two inch foam pad and a fairly expensive 2 inch memory foam pad on top of the mattress and we now just LOVE our little sleeping space.  There's a 3 quarter wall dividing the BR from the LR.  The LR is a reasonably comfy love seat and about 3 feet by 6 feet of floor space.

 The TV is mounted in an "entertainment center" directly in front of the love seat about 8 feet across the room. The dinette comfortably seats four adults.

Adjacent is an itty bitty kitchen space.  The kitchen includes an 8 cubic foot camper sized frig, 3 burner (who needs even 3?) stove, small microwave and double sink.

There are a half dozen cabinets of various sizes distributed within the kitchen, dinette and living room space plus 3 drawers in the kitchen.The bathroom has a porcelain toilet (that's an upgrade from plastic), minute sink with inches of counter space and a shower/tub combo that I can use standing straight up (thanks to the skylight).

The bathroom also has about a 40 inch wide, 3 quarter length wardrobe space. That's a huge bonus.

All and all the it's quite "compact", especially when you recall there are 2 full sized adults and 3 dogs. As for Bo, Laska and our plus size girl, Bailey, they take whatever space they want. None of them are very good about getting out of the way but that just seems to add to the amusement. Laska and Bailey sleep on the floor around the edge of our bed which does make it tricky to get out of bed in the middle of the night.  Bo normally sleeps on the love seat.  We've told him not to do this but, if you know Bo, then you know he defies us.  Often, early in the morning, he leaps from the back of the love seat into our bed.  Also which he's not suppose to do but obviously enough, we don't really care.  So, the unbridled truth is that neither Debbie nor I have once said "it's too small."  We can't help but speak frequently about how comfortable we are in our little box.

So how about those interpersonal relationships you ask?  You know, "are we ready to kill each other"? Debbie and I are together virtually 24/7.  Nearly everything we do, we do together. We occasionally walk dogs separately, I usually carry the trash to a dumpster by myself and today, I drove solo about 5 miles to a tire place for some tire inflation.  We have certainly stumbled around with a sharp moment or two but to the largest degree, we have enjoyed terrific harmony!  I could rattle on at length but let me just say this has been a wonderful trip!

Happy Trails,



  1. Love reading your blog's Duane, glad to see you enjoying the northwest.Hope you have time to travel up the Oregon coast great little cities and beautiful coast lines. Can hardly wait for your next adventures. In Nashville for a few days and then heading to Wisconsin, Michigan, and the Northeast.
    Stay in touch.
    Steve n Pat

  2. I love hearing about your space/routine with my fur siblings! Made me smile. :) Crater Lake looks waaaay beautiful!! Adding it to my list of places to visit.
    Safest travels to the next stop.
    I love you!

  3. Oh my...Crater Lake is AWESOME!!! Debbie, your pictures look just like the ones in and on travel magazines/travel shows! I love seeing your "camper" and knowing that it is not "too small" after your awesome 5th wheel! I have wondered how it would be since we were major spoiled with our motor home...boy, do we miss it! Miss you guys too!!!

  4. We were at Crater Lake five years ago on the motorcycles and loved it. Very beautiful and peaceful setting.