Two weeks after the car crash and hospitalization, I need to move on and revive my normally upbeat outlook. So for starters, I’m going to do two posts on highlights of “my best trip ever” — the August tour of the Pacific Northwest. This one will cover the first half of the trip going north from Yosemite and ending in Seattle.
We flew into San Francisco and immediately headed out in our rental car for Yosemite National Park on the other side of the state.
After 5-6 hours in Yosemite, we headed for Lake Tahoe. It was getting toward twilight when we drove along the lake, which added a nice misty touch.
Drive from Lake Tahoe, CA to Crater Lake, OR
We were on the road for nearly three weeks. Each day brought clear skies, with daytime temperatures that reached 80 only once or twice. Meanwhile, back home, DC was experiencing the hottest August ever, and in Washington, hot also means humid.
Just driving from one stop to the next was a pleasure (as long as someone else was doing the driving). Here’s an example:
Crater Lake was formed by the collapse of land into a caldron after a volcanic eruption. It has no rivers flowing into it and is famous for its deep blue color and water clarity. Snow was still on the ground from a near-record snow total last winter.
Here’s a quick scan of the lake:
Crater Lake Lodge is one of the jewels of the National Park Service. It is an historic inn, dating back to 1922, and well situated to take advantage of the view over the lake.
We wanted to stay for two nights but they were fully booked for the second night. My disappointment was short-lived. We drove to Diamond Lake, less than 10 miles away, and stayed at the much less pretentious but in many ways more enjoyable Diamond Lake resort. The food was cheaper and better. Diamond Lake is a “working lake” — with lots of water activities – – not just a “viewing lake.”
Columbia River Gorge
The Columbia River Gorge is a canyon stretching for over 80 miles through the Cascade Range to the edge of the Portland metropolitan area. It forms the boundary between the States of Washington and Oregon. Much of it has been dedicated to national and state parks. The bumper sticker slogan in my hometown — “Ithaca Is Gorges” — applies here too.
Here’s an overview:
The Columbia River Gorge has over 70 waterfalls. Multnomah Falls at 620 feet is the second highest year-round waterfall in the U.S.:
Pike’s Market, of course: