Well, it was really an incredible trip.
We left Redding in the mid-morning, and worked our way up to Crater Lake. Essentially the route was up Interstate 5, then around Mount Shasta counterclockwise, and then a slow climb up the remnants of Mount Mazama.
We got to the lodge right at 4:00, just in time for check-in. We then dropped our stuff in the room, and got changed for a hike. We went from the lodge to one of the peaks that surround the crater called Garfield Peak. In the trail map we bought, it describes the hike as Difficult and about 2 to 3 hours. It was an amazing trek that was 3.4 miles round trip, and went from 7,050 to 8,060 feet above sea level. I'll go with the difficult, I guess, but I think that means we've been doing higher grade trails than we thought. We did this in right at 2 hours.
The views were really amazing, as were the rocks. the slight over cast kept the true blue of the lake from coming out, but what it hinted at made me look foreword to the next day even more.
That night we at at the lodge restaurant, and had some incredible food. Jennifer had a cumin encrusted halibut, and I had bison prime rib. My task now is to find a place online to buy bison meat.
The night was a bit rough. Jennifer and like a lot of pillows, and there were only three. Plus the temperature in the room was hard to regulate. So, I was awake at 5:30, and started thinking about what we were going to do that day. I thought how cool it would be to see the sun coming up over the rim of the crater. That's when I opened my eyes and saw a slight lightening around the curtain. I turned to Jennifer to see if she was awake (she was), and asked if she'd like to go out and watch the sunrise.
We got dressed in about 10 minutes. Then we got out there and were reminded how cold high altitudes get in the night. We found ourselves a nice place to watch the crater rim, and I ran back to get the blanket from the bed. And then we spent the next half hour watching the few scattered clouds glow red, then pink, and then finally gold as the sun came up.
Afterwards, we went in and each got a cup of tea, and went back to the room to warm up. that's when we decided that we would drive to the top of the trail that leads down to the water's edge. On the drive, we decided that we would do the hike, but skip the boat ride. That trail that leads down to Cleetwood Cove is 2.2 miles round trip for 724 feet elevation change, but is labeled as Strenuous and an average 11% grade. I worked it out on the drive home, and the average slope was 1 foot fall/rise for every 8 feet walked.
The hike down and up were partially blocked by trees, so we saw glimpses of the lake. But once we got to the bottom it was spread out and an incredible blue. The edges have a gorgeous green cast to them. But the water is nearly lifeless. There are some fish that have been brought in, and apparently there is fear about an influx of crayfish from somewhere, but otherwise, there's not a lot in the water.
Once we got back tot he car, we felt good, but we were very tired. Jennifer drove for about an hour, but it got to be too much for her, so I ended up driving the rest of the way home.
Now something to mention is that while she did this in good walking shoes, I did both hikes in my Vibram FiveFinger shoes. The soles and heels of my feet are fine; no blisters, no problem. My calves are an entirely different story. I've figured that it has to do with the way the foot bends in them, because as I walk around the house, that's when the calves hurt. I spent the day trying different ways to stretch them out, but I figure I'll just be feeling like this for a few days.
I'm working on the picture uploads, so once they're up, I'll post the link.