Crater Lake and a Drive to the Coast


Friday marked the start of the trip from central Oregon, out to the coast. I was up pretty early, and got camp organized. We had to clean up after our party, but that didn't take too long. By 10:00 we had everything packed up and ready to go. 

After leaving the campsite, we headed south into Bend, and made one quick stop at Drake Park, in the center of town. It's a beautiful spot, with the river running through the middle of the town. Some of the houses along the river are simply amazing. We walked through the park, and generally enjoyed the quiet start to our morning. After that quick stop, we continues south out of town, along the scenic highway. 

One of the many big pine trees in the park along the river.

The Deschutes River, running through the center of town.

A slightly different view, a little further upstream.

I had done the same drive a little more than two years ago but in June rather than August, and the scenery was very different. We followed the road south for a while, only making one stop for lunch in a very odd little town. Not long after that we started west, cutting back towards the coast. 

Mount Bachelor, the last of our volcanos for this trip. 

We had decided to make one detour on the drive, with a short side trail to see Crater Lake. I had stopped at Crater Lake the last time, and even in late June the roads were still closed and there was eight feet of snow at the top. I even think it started snowing while I was there. The weather was much nicer this time, and we had an amazing view over the bright blue lake. 

Crater Lake, with Wizard Island, its own mini volcano rising from the lake.

From wikipedia, here are the details on the lake: The lake is 5 by 6 miles (8.0 by 9.7 km) across, with a caldera rim ranging in elevation from 7,000 to 8,000 feet (2,100 to 2,400 m) and an average lake depth of 1,148 feet (350 m). The lake's maximum depth has been measured at 1,949 feet (594 m), which fluctuates slightly as the weather changes. On the basis of maximum depth, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States, the second deepest in North America (after Great Slave Lake in Canada), and the ninth deepest lake in the world (Lake Baikal is the deepest).

We had come at the lake from the north entrance, and drove as far as the Rim Visitor Center where the main lodge is, but the parking lot was packed so we had to continue back the way we came. Still, we stopped at a bunch of viewpoints and had a nice drive around part of the lake. 

A slightly closer look at Wizard Island.

A slightly closer look at Wizard Island.

A view back from the lake, to the surrounding countryside.

After that, it was back north to the main road we had come in on, then continuing west. The drive was nice, generally following some river or another for about three hours as we continued towards to coast. Eventually we got to Coos Bay, and the Pacific. From Coos Bay, we headed south about 10 miles to Sunset Bay State Park and our camp group for the night. 

We finally reached the Oregon Coast.

This next leg of our journey is pretty tight on time, so it's only one night in each place. After getting camp setup, we headed back to the beach to watch the sunset. After that it was a quick trip down to the local town to grab some food for dinner, which we made over a campfire. The rest of the night was spent in front of the fire, roasting marshmallows and enjoying one of the last nights of our trip. 

The light was really nice as the sun started to set.