Having only one stop on the agenda today we expected it to be an easy and cheap day on the road, unfortunately Oregon had other ideas. The main aim of the day was to just get through the long drive to California with a little pit stop in the middle.
Our sightseeing jaunt allowed Joe to take some hair-raising roads with little shoulder and no guardrail between the car and treetops. I’ve never seen someone grip a steering wheel so tightly, but the views of Crater Lake were completely worth the ‘risk’.
Crater Lake formed when a volcano called Mount Mazama erupted thousands of years ago and then collapsed in on itself. It’s America’s deepest lake, but if you want to dip your toes in the freezing water you have to work for it. There is only one trail to the bottom and, although only a little over a mile, it’s so steep that the walk back up is equivalent to 65 flights of stairs. That’s right, it would basically be like climbing to the top of a skyscraper! Not for us on this trip then!
Our journey around the rim not only offered glorious blue views, but there was also some friendly wildlife along the way. The park ranger had given us a brochure that had pictures promising Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrels and a bird called the Clark’s Nutcracker, so what luck we had to see both!
Sadly this was where our luck for the day ran out. When we arrived in Oregon yesterday we found it to be a strange state where legally you can’t even pump your own gas. Weird…but the strangest thing of all was the constant 55mph speed limit, even on main roads. In all fairness, 55mph is pretty slow when you’ve got to cover as much ground as we do on this trip, so you can guess how we ended our time in Oregon…Hello, Mr. Policeman…
Even though he was the world’s nicest cop, he still gave Joe a ticket, but at least he was apologetic about it. Even we said thank you as we parted ways…it was possibly the most polite traffic violation ever. Of course the fine soured the whole thing considerably. Time to get the hell out of Oregon and fast…just not too fast! The Welcome to California sign was the sweetest drink of water of the day and signalled we’d made it to state number ten.
A good few miles down the road we came across the Redwood Forest. Damn, those were some big trees! Big enough to stop us in our tracks for a quick photo-op as we gasped again at the wonder of nature. We didn’t stick around too long though as tomorrow we’ll get our fill of impressive trees.
We also finally got to see the California coast, but again, I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of that over the next few days…not sure why we saw Paul Bunyan though, did he follow us from Minnesota?????
So, until tomorrow…
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