To take advantage of a ridiculously sunny and warm spring weekend, Roland and I took a weekend trip to Crater Lake, with some great stops along the way. After some debate and studying of webcams, we chose to take my little car instead of his four-wheel drive, and it was the right call.
The roads to Rim Village were plowed and dry but the snow was piled some 12 feet high along the sides, forming a dramatic white tunnel. And the famous lake, which is the deepest in the United States and 9th in the world, was as gorgeous and blue as advertised.
The snow was deep and soft, meaning you never know just how far down your next step will go. At one point, he sunk all the way up to his hip! It was a strange experience watching him half-disappear in an instant, as though in quicksand... but he was uninjured and somehow pulled himself up quickly.
I soon became fed up with this method of getting around and rented a pair of snowshoes from the gift shop. Even after the quicksand experience, Roland opted out, saying they're unwieldy, and contentedly continued post-holing his way around. I don't believe I've snowshoed since college, which was [bleep] years ago, but it was pretty easy, lots of fun, and far more wieldy to me than sinking into the snow with every step.
We enjoyed the lake views from various parts of the rim, Roland climbed into a picturesque dead tree, and we made an unsuccessful attempt to catch a glimpse of Phantom Ship (the other island in the lake). With my snowshoes I was able to explore a bit further than he could, into an undisturbed snowy field with nice views of the volcanic rocks of Mount Mazama.
Later, we walked down to the historic Crater Lake Lodge, which is still closed and under snow but looks so cozy with its shutters tightly locked down. It also recently had new cedar shingles put on, which is wonderful for preservation as well as brightening up my photos.
The lodge was built in 1915 and still hosts visitors to the national park today.
As we drove out of the park, I realized I didn't have a lot of gas for our long drive back... but that's a story for another post.