Sunday, October 16, 2011

Trip to Japan...NOT! (Part 5: Crater Lake and Willamette Valley)

After a longer drive than we anticipated, we finally made it to Crater Lake, Oregon. 

We got there right around dinner time, and we were only planning on staying one night.  I made the decision to just eat dinner and then go to bed instead of going to see the lake right then.  The lake was, I think, about 7 miles away from our lodging, and I didn't think the girls would be very happy to get back in the car again after that day's drive.  Oh, and I have I mentioned on the blog yet that I'm pregnant?  I don't think so...most of you know, but for those of you who don't, I found out Memorial Day Weekend about Baby #3, which was interesting timing for this trip (we took the trip in mid-June).  Meaning, I felt like crap the entire time!  So my decision to have a low-key night was partly selfish.  I needed rest!

It turned out to not be the best decision, because when we got up the next morning, we had breakfast, then drove up to the lake.  At least we think we did.  You couldn't even see the lake!  Fog had completely settled inside of it, and except for seeing signs for Crater Lake everywhere, you wouldn't even know a lake was in the area!


We asked a few of the park rangers what they thought the chances were of the fog lifting.  Some of them were hopeful, others weren't.  So we decided to wait it out in the main lodge, which had a lakeview.  We figured if/when it cleared up, this would be the best place to see it.

One thing I've neglected to mention so far about this area, was the amount of snow leftover from the winter.  This was mid-June, and the snow was piled so high!  The girls loved seeing that. 

They also had fun waiting in the lodge.  Grant and I did, too - we love National Park lodges and their rustic beauty! 

Hours went by, and we started to realize that if we were ever going to actually see Crater Lake, we would need to stay another night.  So we checked on availability at this lodge, and they did have a room for us.  {That was the good thing about this whole trip - it was totally unplanned, so we didn't really have a tight schedule.  We booked tickets back to California while we were at Paul's house in Portland, so the only thing we had to do was be back in Seattle for our flight.}  They worked quickly to get it ready for us in time for the girl's naps (I feel like my whole life revolves around getting these girls to sleep!), and we all took very long, much-needed naps.  When we got up, Grant went down to the lobby area to see if the lake was visible yet, and it just barely was! 

Crater Lake is known for being very blue, but it was evening, and the sun was setting, so we couldn't really tell the blueness of it.  But this gave us so much hope that tomorrow would be even better - and it was!

Because of how much snow was still piled up everywhere, we weren't able to drive around the lake, or go down closer to it.  So, we took some pictures, then started making our way back up north. 

Next on our make-it-up-as-we-go agenda was Willamette Valley in Oregon.  It's a small, but well-known wine country, and even though I was pregnant, we were going to some wineries in the area.  Don't worry, I spit out the wine I tasted. 

The area was so beautiful!

It was my birthday that day, so I think this was Grant's attempt at getting a picture with me and the girls, but as you can see, Kendall wasn't having it.

We spent one night there in Willamette Valley, and then we headed back up to Seattle for one last night before flying back home.

All in all, it was a great trip.  I do wish we could've made it to Japan, but at the same time, with me being in the early stages of pregnancy, part of me was relieved that we never made it.  I was still able to tour around a part of the country that I've never seen before, and I think we all had a great time.


  1. I loved reading about your trip. It's fun to see what you guys ended up doing without having much of a plan. It sounds like a fun way to have a vacation!

  2. yeah, i can't say that i will muster up the courage to travel without a plan. even though that's how my parents always traveled with us when we were growing up. it makes for a great adventure. enjoying reading about your adventures.

  3. i was born not too far from Crater Lake, in Medford! my parents were hippies back in the day... :)