Today officially marks 5 weeks in America! The first thing I would recommend to anyone coming to the west coast is Crater Lake. After we decided to bypass Shasta Lake and head into Oregon early we had an extra night up our sleeves, so I suggested we head to Crater Lake after reading about it in the Lonely Planet guide.
An excellent idea, if I do say so myself. (warning, photo heavy post ahead)
Crater Lake was formed 7700 years ago when Mt Mazama’s eruption caused the mountain to collapse and form a caldera (cauldron or bowl) which filled with snow melt and rain to make a lake.
The water is such a violent shade of blue, I’m not sure the photos do it justice.
We arrived in the afternoon and took a drive around the rim, stopping at every vista to feast our eyes (and our camera memory cards).
The small island in the photo below is a smaller volcano.
The views looking away from the lake are also jaw-dropping:
My Australian brain can’t seem to comprehend how there can still be snow in early summer.
After a couple of hours of marvelling we went to the campground to pitch our tent. I can’t believe I haven’t introduced the main players in our trip yet! Meet Cole:
And Mrs Hawn, Goldie for short:
We went to the camp store (and saw the box of free stuff for Pacific Crest Trail Hikers! Those who have read Wild will know what I’m talking about) to purchase some supplies, including this amazing beer.
Made at the Deschutes Brewery in nearby Bend.
After dinner we got the campfire going, not because it was particularly freezing.
But for S’mores!
S’mores are of course a delicate marrying of a roasted marshmallow and a piece of chocolate, wedged between two sweet crackers:
Andrew spread peanut butter on his cracker to make a gourmet S’more.
The next day, having slept off the inevitable sugar high and low, we set out to hike Garfield Peak, a short 5km walk.
If possible, the lake looked an even deeper blue in the morning light.
The views from the top were incredible:
The trail involved crossing over some snow, which we found pretty exciting.
A local told us not to cross over snow… But it was pretty soft and not slippery and falling wouldn’t have resulted in plunging to our respective deaths… Small calculated risks keep the dream alive.
Again, the view looking away from the lake was pretty damn great as well:
A seriously beautiful place, do get there if you can!