Before we set out on our big adventure, one of my old colleagues had told me about a round the world trip that she took years back with her husband. They spent almost 3 months road tripping around North America and she said her favourite state was Oregon and her all time favourite part was their whole trip was Crater Lake. So having been inspired by her story of Crater Lake, I told Mat we must make it up there, it’s supposed to be phenomenal!
I had been keeping a keen eye on the map and planned that we should be able to make it up there from Gold Beach. Having learnt that Google Maps on my phone could not be trusted as a reliable source of road information, we stopped in at an outdoor store called Rogue Outdoor Store, to ask for the nearest information or visitors centre. The very friendly and chatty shop owner, Jim, asked what information we required and when we told him we wanted to know how to get to Crater Lake, he was more than happy to be of assistance. He phoned the National Park services to check the road conditions and found out that there may still be snow up there and that snow chains may be needed in some parts, but his guess was that we’d be ok. He gave us directions and a map and off we went.
However, it wasn’t quite as easy as we had thought to get to Crater Lake via the cut through road we had been given directions to. We spent a long time trying to find it, only to find out, it was a gravel road that was closed for the season. I have driven in snowy conditions a lot in my life and along many gravel roads, but this was one that did not look particularly inviting and I didn’t fancy the chance of getting stuck somewhere in the middle of nowhere with no signal on our phone. As gutted as we were, we had to admit defeat and turn back, as there was still a long way to go to get to Crater Lake and time was not on our side.
So I leave you with this video of Crater Lake instead, courtesy of Ben Canales Vimeo. At least it gives us yet another reason to re-visit the west coast.