On the next to last day of my road trip, I was celebrating the fact that the trip as a whole had a certain symmetry to it. At the beginning, I went to Sun Valley, Idaho and then to Craters of the Moon. I visited Meteor Crater somewhere in the middle, too. And on this day, I was leaving Lake Tahoe, and heading to Crater Lake, and then would spend the night in Sunriver, Oregon. I had been calling this trip “The Great Western Ramble” in my mind, but perhaps “The Trek of Sun and Craters” is equally appropriate.
After gassing up the rental car and doing the daily ritual of debugging the windshield for better photo opportunities, I set out. Passing through valleys and past lakes, I reflected on just how vast and varied and majestic this country is. And then I passed the high school in Tule Lake. “Home of the Honkers.” That gave me a bit of a giggle. I didn’t realize at the time that Tule Lake was also the home of another Japanese Internment Camp. That’s not the least bit giggle-worthy.
I also went through Klamath Falls, and stopped at their visitor’s center. When you enter this town, you quickly discover that the area is known for bird watching. There are birds everywhere. They’re on murals and sculptures and street signs and bill boards and they’re incorporated in business names. This place has embraced a natural asset, and more power to them, I say, especially if it motivates them to preserve said asset.
I then headed up to Crater Lake. I had been there before (and blogged about it here), but last time the rim road was closed due to snow. This time it was open, and I took full advantage of that. The views, as you’ll see below, were stunning.
I have to admit, though, that I felt a certain un-vacation-like sense of urgency while there. The dark clouds were rolling in. It was cold and rainy and the sun was going down. I even saw a few dustings of snow. I strongly suspect that the rim road was closed within a week of my visit. But the weather added to the photographs, I think.
North of Crater Lake makes you feel as though you’re slightly south of the middle of nowhere. That made me nervous, because it was getting late and dark and bitterly cold, and I was starving. Then, like an oasis magically appearing in the desert, I came upon a restaurant called Loree’s Chalet in Chemult, Oregon. It was a quaint, homey little place, and the waiter was charming.
He was also not wearing a mask. None of the staff were wearing masks. None of the patrons in the bar in the next room were wearing masks, either. This made me kind of uncomfortable, but I was ravenous, had the dining room all to myself, and my options were limited.
I have to say, the bacon wrapped steak was delicious. They boast the best ranch dressing in the entire world. I have to agree.
After that, it was just a matter of getting to Sunriver Resort. I got there in pitch darkness (more symmetry from the beginning of the trip) so there are no Sunriver photos below. You’ll have to wait until the final post of my journey for those.
I ended the night luxuriating in the bathtub. I have to tell you that if you prize a good bathtub as much as I do, Sunriver Resort is the place to go. It was by far my favorite place to stay on the entire trip. Nothing like a nice hot bath after a cold, raw day!
There will be one more blog post about this trip that will be posted the day after tomorrow, so watch this space! I’ll try to link all the posts about this trip together, so that you can start at the beginning if you find yourself in the middle and want to read the whole saga. Here’s a link to the first post in the series. And here’s a link to the last day of our trip.