Sometimes while you’re travelling you get it in your head that you have to reach a destination rather than enjoying the journey. Sort of like life really. It has become apparent on this trip in the US that we must not always meet the goal of getting to the destination when we expect to. Like driving to Portland in two days along a winding single lane coastal road with high winds and occasional trucks and other blockers as such to hinder your well laid plans.
So setting off from Portland yesterday Karine and I decided to take the leisurely approach and stop when we saw fit and have a look at some of the natural wonders of Oregon and California on our way back to San Francisco.
First we stopped to take a toilet break and stumbled across Salt Creek Falls. So just to see what the fuss was about we wandered down the path. As we got a little lower we were greeted by the roaring water powering over the edge of this rather large cliff . At 286 feet high (87 metres) it was an awe-inspiring site. The air pressure from the falls was truly incredible and I felt like I was in a Bee Gee’s video from the eighties.
Our goal was to get to one of America’s most stunning tourist attractions by about lunchtime and we did. As we headed higher into the mountains we started to see snow on the ground and the memos started to fall a little. As we reached 4000 feet (1219 metres) we were driving through the snowfields and in awe of what were experiencing. Yesterday we were in the desert climbing in 33 degree celsius and to day we are at 1200 plus metres in the snow.
We saw the parking area and as we pulled in we were welcomed by the most incredible site of our west coast trip so far and one of my top 10 highlights of my entire trip. Welcome to Crater Lake. This place is one of the most amazing places I have ever seen. It is absolutely stunning and there are not enough words to describe the number of thoughts running through your head. All I could do was stare.
Once we had taken photos, thrown the odd snowball, talked about our amazement and taken even more photos we decided to head to the village for lunch. Post lunch we kept on heading south to Klamath Falls, a little town on Klamath Lake. As we left town Karine said is that a mountain top I can see off in the distance. It took me a couple of minutes and the loan of Karine’s sunglasses to confirm her statement/question.
Off in the distance towering above all else was Mount Shasta. At 14192 feet (4325 metres) it is an ominous and beautiful site. We were still 145 kms away from the mountain and it was as clear as a bell to see. This was my first sighting of a US 14000’er and all I wanted to do was go and climb it. Hmmm….mountaineering…..Now theres something to try!
On another note: apparently Merle Haggard (google it) lived up around the area for the latter part of his life from what I understand.
We decided it was too late to go up and have a good look so we decided to take a few shots and find some accom as we had been on the road since 7am and it was now 5pm. So we headed to Dunsmuir for the night and had dinner at the Dunsmuir Brewery Works. This little microbrew pub has awesome food and great locally produced beer. Then it was off to bed as we were exhausted.
Good night America…….. 😛