Last summer, I went on the trip of a lifetime from Portland, OR to Big Sur, CA. The highlight of the trip was Crater Lake National Park. It is the deepest lake in the United States and one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. Driving up to the rim of the crater, your first glance at the lake takes your breath away. The water is so so blue, and the color stays vibrant throughout. As a Philadelphian who is used to the flowing colors and sounds of the ocean, or the murky Schuylkill river, this was quite a treat.
The island in the middle of the Lake is called Wizard Island. This lead to Harry Potter imitations for 90% of our visit there. You can take a boat out on the lake and onto the island, but we opted to hike down to the base of the lake and jump right in. The water was absolutely frigid. The impact on the water was so cold I couldn’t breathe, and hurled myself onto a rock, sympathizing with Rose from the Titanic.
The first night we went on a guided sunset hike to the top of the crater. We saw some hikers climbing the Pacific Crest Trail that goes from Mexico to Canada on our guided hike. I didn’t know much about it, but later read “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed and wanted to go back and hike it. And by hike it, I mean spend a day or two walking the trail with modern conveniences nearby.
By the time we got back down, it was already dark and all of our neighbors in the campsite were asleep. Feeling like idiots, we fumbled in the dark and attempted to start a fire. Upon success we cooked weenies on a stick for dinner: they became unappetizing after a half-of-a-weenie, so we ditched the entire endeavor and went to bed. As it was freezing and we were sleeping in Target grade children’s sleeping bags, it wasn’t the best night of sleep. When we woke up, we felt so accomplished for surviving our first night “in the wilderness”.