After what seemed like the longest two weeks of anticipation, Jake and I finally set out on our journey to the last frontier! Heading north from our home in Malibu, we made our way up the California coast. Since we have both traveled around northern California before, we agreed to put the pedal to the medal until Oregon.
Not until around Weed, California did we finally feel like we were getting somewhere. We had to make a few impromptu stops just to get out of the car and frolic around.
Our first Oregonian destination was Crater Lake. As if cued, it began to snow as soon as we entered the National Park. To go from 80 degrees and sunny on the beach to a Christmas-like wonderland in the middle of May is a bizarre feeling, I’ll tell ya. We were able to sleep in the back of the truck without using sleeping bags, though. A couple of throw blankets were enough to keep us warm in our tiny nest.
In the morning, the weather cleared up enough to get a good look at Crater Lake.
7,700 years ago, a huge volcano called Mount Mazama occupied the space where Crater Lake now sits. Eventually, it erupted, and it’s eruption was so massive (42 times greater than Mount St. Helens, even) the mountain was left gutted. Over time, the empty caldera basin collected enough rain and snow to form Crater Lake. Now it’s one of the deepest and purest lakes in the world.
Definitely a sight to behold. Also, very cold.
On our way out, we met lots of cows and funky old barns. I felt like I was in the middle of some midwestern themed calendar.
We headed to Newberry to do some volcano exploring. Much to our disappointment, the lava tubes were closed (they only close on Tuesdays, for some reason). But we found this waterfall to play around instead. We took part in some bushwacking shenanigans to test our new REI hiking boots. The boots held up, but Jake’s pants did not.
*cue Spongebob Squarepants’ “The Fool Who Ripped His Pants” song*
That night we found a little campground north of Bend, OR near Mt. Hood. It was still closed for the winter season (shh…), so we had the whole place to ourselves. We got to enjoy the sunset (the days are already getting so long!) and scrumdiddlyumptious Oregon-made wine.
So far, so good, Oregon.
Our next stop: Portland!