Pacific Northwest travel log, day 2

At only 212 miles covered, day 2 was all about Crater Lake.

Day 2 Map

We awoke from our caboose cabin and Maia was happily asleep in her locker private room which gave Valerie and I a peaceful morning to ease into the day while the sun peaked over the mountainous horizon. When Maia awoke, she was excited to be in the train and after getting dressed she wanted to “ride train” while snacking on a granola bar. More than happy to oblige, I climbed up with her and sat on the opposing seat and we pretended our caboose was swaying down the track while making choo choo and whistle noises. Even Valerie gingerly climbed the rungs once to come play train with us. Incidentally, only a few cabooses have the upper level observation deck.

Maia rides the train

As we gathered the accouterments from the cabin and got the car loaded, Maia wanted to, “play stairs”. In true form, she managed to make a playground out of any available obstacle and kept herself entertained. This quality of hers is, after all, what really let us make this trip in the first place.

Play Stairs

With the car mostly packed, we moseyed around the park and checked out the variety of cabooses they had. Maia started pouting when her “play stairs” session was so abruptly terminated by our walkabout

Cabooses without obeservation deck

The park is nestled in a valley, and the Cascade mountains are all around. Although it was still smoky, this was the first day we’d seen blue sky in about two weeks.

Railroad Park

We got on the open road and decided to get a few miles in and then stop for breakfast. Little regard beyond going north was given as to what road those miles would be covered on — the destination was, after all, breakfast. And indeed it was found when we stopped in Yreka at the Black Bear Diner. Turns out they are small chain throughout the west (38 stores), which is just fine by me as their 7-Grain Almond Granola Pancakes are worth going back for.

Back on the road, I asked Valerie to check the map and remind me what road we’d need to go to Klamath Falls. After a brief study, she responded confused that there’s no obvious reason to go to Klamath Falls. It quickly became clear the road we wanted was already well behind us. So, regarding that GPS purchase we debated about prior to the trip … yeah, it was looking like we’d chosen poorly. But, that’s another story.

We spied a small, unnamed road in the atlas that head more directly to Crater Lake. A quick check of the iPhone showed it did have a name: Dead Indian Memorial Road. Crisis averted!

Dead Indian Memorial Road to the 140 was a very lightly traveled, well maintain road that winds through the forest and proved to be a very pleasant drive. We were quite pleased to have missed the more direct routing of 97 through Klamath Falls.

Eventually, we made it to our intended destination. (The astute reader will note we arrived from the south. This was actually taken on the drive out of the park).

Crater Lake Sign

Crater Lake was largely inaccessible due to snow. We arrived at the main visitor center and Maia headed directly for the snow. She wasn’t all that interested in it during the winter, but now it was suddenly fun.

Maia plays in the snow

After Maia soaked her shoes enough, we were able to take in the view.

Crater Lake and Wizard Island

And then Maia found new obstacles to play on.

Elevated walkway

Did I mention there was still snow?

Swow Wall

We stopped at one of the overlooks on the north side of the lake and had a nice picnic snack while Maia ventured off in search of more obstacles. What she got was a spank’n when she refused to stop going toward the road.

Wizard Island from the north side

More Crater Lake photos in the gallery.

We had a short drive from the lake to Chemult where we had a most unfortunate reservation at the Dawson House Lodge. Let’s just say, pictures posted on the net don’t tell the whole story and hide lots of cleanliness sins that change one’s perspective upon arrival. It was across the street from a truck stop and the lack of AC made for a long night of jake brakes through the open window as the truckers came and went. To add insult to injury, there was only one restaurant open in town and they clearly had no worries about any competition. Diner was edible, but left plenty to be desired beyond that. Maia was the smartest of us — all she’d eat were pre-packaged Saltine crackers.

The best thing about Chemult, was leaving the next day.

1 comment to Pacific Northwest travel log, day 2

  • Valerie

    You can’t forget the “veranda” view of the gas station directly across from our room. That was certainly entertaining late at night.

    One fun thing about our night in Chemult was the thunderstorm that rolled though. Although I stayed in bed, (my loss) John, you got to witness some first class lightening. And just enough rain to make the road dust a real mess on the car for the next day’s adventures. ;)

    I also really enjoyed the observation deck and interpertive center at Crater Lake. The view was outstanding, and the movie about the eruption that created the lake was interesting as well. It was cool to be able to compare the various volcano’s and volcanic area’s that we passed through during the trip.

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