Trying to describe the beauty of Crater Lake National Park through words will not be an easy task and will not do it justice. Words like blue, cobalt, turquoise, sapphire, indigo, aqua, azure, cerulean, cyan come to mind to describe the colors and the beauty of the water down in the crater but it's better expressed through photography. The view from the top of the crater is simply breathtaking.
We woke up early, the sun streaming in through our tents, to the early morning chatter of the campsite. The early morning was chilly, I quickly made a cup of hot oatmeal and followed it with a cup of coffee to start the day. We took down our tents, packed the bikes and left the camp heading uphill back to the edge of the crater this time following the Rim Drive east around the crater. The road, closed during winter, twists and turns along the edge of the crater offering plenty places to stop and enjoy the scenery. Our first stop was above Danger Bay were we get a beautiful view of the crater.
Crater Lake National Park encompasses the Crater Lake caldera, which rests in the remains of a destroyed volcano. The lake is 1,949 feet (594 m) deep at its deepest point, which makes it the deepest lake in the United States, the second deepest in North America and the ninth deepest in the world. The caldera rim ranges in elevation from 7,000 to 8,000 feet (2,100 to 2,400 m) and the lake surface itself is 6,178 feet (1,883 m). The lake's water commonly has a striking blue hue, and the lake is re-filled entirely from direct precipitation in the form of snow and rain. I stood on the edge of the crater looking down in disbelief, I had never seen such deep blue. In front of us stood Wizard Island, I could see its edges disappearing below the clear water.
We continued around stopping various times to admire the beauty of the lake but the previous night's mosquitoes were still following us. My brother and I kept our helmets on most of the time for protection but the mosquitoes were not giving up, getting under our helmets trying to get at our faces, it was a constant battle trying to fend off the little devils.
We made our way around the lake eventually leaving through the Crater Lake Highway North entrance until we meet Route 138, making a right and following the next 15 miles on a road straight as an arrow until we meet Route 97, also known as The Dalles-California Highway. At the junction right in front of us is the Diamond Lake Junction Cafe and Fuel Station, the sign by the road simply said "EAT", we quickly pull in. I ask the young girl behind the counter for something sweet and she says they have a Cream Pie that is really good, how could I refuse, I get my slice and follow it with a cup of coffee.
Taken from Google maps
We leave and continue north on Route 97 until we meet Route 58 West, also known as Willamette Highway, which goes towards Eugene. We follow it for a few miles and then make a right turn onto the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway. The highway runs for 66 miles (106 km) in the rugged Deschutes National Forest on the east side of the Cascade Range. The route is so named because it weaves past a number of small natural lakes along the Cascades. It's a beautiful road through the forest passing Devil's Pass, an area filled with lava rocks and lakes with amazingly clear water. I was amazed to see the hills made of lava with the rocks right up to the edge of the road.
As we approach Bend I capture one of the most beautiful scenes so far on my trip, a beautiful green field with Mount Bachelor in the background.
We get to Bend and jump back on Route 97 following it north until Redmond. We arrive at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center for the BMW MOA (Motorcycles Owners of America) event mid afternoon. After registering we enter the expo center and quickly setup camp. There are already hundreds of other BMW riders at the camp.
We will camp for 4 nights while my brother attends the event. I don't own a BMW, there's not much for me to see. I will continue north through Portland and into Washington State tomorrow. We covered 180 miles from Crater Lake National Park to Redmond through beautiful roads and fantastic scenery.