This morning got off to a bit of a slow start, but we weren’t in too much of a hurry. We stopped at Walmart to get some quick last-minute supplies for our group dinner in the evening and snacks for the way home the next day. After about a three hour drive, we stopped at Toketee Falls and Umpqua Hot Springs. An adventure photographer of mine, Josh Hydeman, lives in Oregon and has taken some really cool pictures of Toketee Falls, so I was determined to ‘follow in his footsteps.’ The trek down to the base of the falls was sketchy (to say the very least), but completely worth it. On a hotter day with more time I would’ve spent hours there! The other car went to the hot springs, and we met them there.
After the falls and the hot springs, we headed to Crater Lake. Like Mount Rainier, if you’ve never been there, you’ll never understand how huge it is. It’s MASSIVE! I was so excited for the “big reveal” after reading Wild (by Cheryl Strayed), and it didn’t disappoint. You crest a ridge, and BAM there it is. And it’s big and beautiful and so incredibly blue. Unfortunately there were several very large wildfires nearby, and right as we arrived the wind shifted, so by the time we got on the Rim Drive, you could barely see to the other side of the lake. It was still beautiful, and I would love to do the drive again with a bit more time (getting behind schedule is rough).
After the Rim Drive, we headed back to camp for our last group dinner. (Ivy made curry, it was delicious!) The other car decided they wanted to drive through the night to get home earlier, but I wanted to get a good night’s sleep before driving for 11 hours straight (I drove pretty much the entire trip, except for crossing the border into Canada, I was weirdly worried that they would give me crap for not having a passport as the driver), so we stayed the night.