Sunday, July 26, 2015

Crater Lake National Park

Woke up to a very chilly morning! I kept my long underwear on until 10! It was very refreshing! I actually used my sleeping bag this morning! And, it wasn't as cold as it will be tomorrow morning! Its forecast to go down into the 30s tonight!

The first thing I needed to do this morning was buy tickets for the Wizard Island cruise for tomorrow. I couldn't buy them until 9:45 this morning, my plan was to be first in line at the kiosk in the gift shop. I decided I needed to be there by 9, which is very late for me, I was ready to go by 8:20, and that was after I'd slept in, and had a leisurely breakfast with my kindle.

Mom and Dad were staying at a casino about 20 miles away and coming in this morning to get a "first come, first served" site. I realized that I could probably pay for their site before they got here. This campground operates differently from any other campground I've been in. You either make a reservation (50% of the sites are reservable) or you show up at the kiosk. You pay your money and tell them what type of site you need - tent or RV and how long your RV is. They give you a card with your departure date and a color, you can then go and pick any site of that color (the colors tell how big the sites are, I'm yellow (even though I could fit anywhere!) and Mom and Dad are red), you can even move sites if a better one opens up! You just put your card on the site post. This makes it very easy to extend your stay, just go pay again and the site is yours! So anyway this morning I went up and bought Mom and Dad a site before they got here. It ended up getting very confused because Mom and Dad came in while I was at the boat ticket kiosk and the guy I'd talked to about thrust reservation was on a coffee break! We did eventually get it worked out, and I paid for my extra day so I could stay three nights!

I got to the boat ride kiosk about 8:40. A whole hour before I could make my purchase. I'd brought my Kindle so I stood there and read. About 9:20 a family came up and got in line behind me. A few other people came up and bought tickets for today. Then finally at 9:45, I clicked through the screen and made my purchase!

Camping spots secured and boat ride tickets purchased, we were now free to explore the park. After an early lunch we set out for the rim. I decided Mom and Dad needed to see the lake first, before going to the visitor center or starting the drive, so we went directly to the rim. The lake is just awesome! Pictures will never do it justice, you all just have to come.


After checking out the lake at Rim Village we went back down to the visitor center to watch the movie. At Lassen we wished we'd watched the movie first, here's probably wasn't as important, but the movie was good and we learned about how Mt. Mazama erupted then collapsed and formed Crater Lake. After the visitor center we headed east on the Rim Drive and began our journey around the lake.

One of the amazing things about Crater Lake is it's amazing blue color. The water is so pure and clear that when the sun hits it the color is just unbelieveable! And the color varies depending on the water depth and the way the light hits it. Unfortunately for us, the clouds started rolling in just as we began driving around. This meant that the lake was "lake" colored not the bluer than blue color. It was also quite cold and windy all day. But, the lake is still amazing and I took a ton of pictures anyway.

After our drive around the lakers headed back to the campground for generator time and dinner. It's already very chilly and it promises to be a cold night. It's still very cloudy, I hope all that clears up for tomorrow's boat ride!


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