DAY 36 - CRATER LAKE, OR

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Day 36 - Crater Lake, OR - 1691 km

It hasn’t been boring. From the rainforests at the Pacific coast in Washington, to the high desert in central Oregon, to the snowy summits of Crater Lake, all in a span of about 3 weeks. I’ve traversed a variety of landscapes and climates in the past days and I’m glad to have made the choice to divert from the coast. 

From Bend the road goes up to the Cascade Lakes where it gets more green as elevation inclines and temperatures slowly drop. I’ve camped at a few lakes, which was beautiful but once in the forest, sheltered from the wind, the mosquitos are unbearable at every hour of day. It’s not fun while you’re camping. Even early in the morning when it was chilly they were waiting for me on the other side of the mesh. I have breakfast in full clothes, hitting myself to keep the blood inside. 

On Highway 97 I continue further south, through a small place called Crescent.  Probably the most right-wing, gun loving little town I’ve seen so far. I stop at a house from which the owner didn’t spare any effort putting up signage to share his views on some typical topics. I ride on after dinner till 11 p.m. and spend a noisy night in my tent near the highway, still with an army of mosquitos trying to get in my tent. The final day towards Crater Lake is nice. A demanding climb, but the views get better and brighter after every turn because there is still a lot of snow. It’s not cold at all, but the Pacific North West got so much snow fall this year that some passes opened late. At the end of the day I reach the crater and take a snowy trail to the rim to avoid the crowds at the viewpoint. At 2350 m this is the highest point of the journey so far. The views are more than worth the climb. It’s hard to capture the size of the lake, it doesn’t fit in my lens. It’s 600 m deep which gives it an intensely blue colour. A hike around the rim is about 50 km. That pretty much gives an idea