After Tara’s train arrived more than two hours late on Sunday evening, we took the opportunity to sleep in Monday before heading to Crater Lake. We are back into our “normal routine” of planning trips and exploring. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States and was formed by a volcano many years ago. It’s only source of water is collecting snowmelt and the waters don’t warm too much during the summer. As we pulled up to the rim we realized it would be a lot like most other National Parks, crowded, paved, and just for looking. We drove halfway around the lake, stopping a few times for pictures but by lunch we had looked at the lake from more than enough angles to call it good. We headed west to check out a few short waterfall hikes that peaked our interest.
Toketee Falls did not disappoint. The turquoise water carved its way through the gorge creating several small pools that seemed like they were somewhere in a far away jungle. The river weaved its way though the gorge before suddenly dropping 113 feet over the edge. The trail leads you away from the river before bringing you back to the final falls to stand on a wood platform overlooking the drop. You can’t get down under the falls unless you hop the fence and climb down the sides the ledge. It was tempting, but Olive can barely jump down stairs let alone make her way down the side of a mountain, so we elected to view from a distance.
Tuesday we made the move to Bend, OR. We desperately needed groceries, water, and to do some laundry. Of course, we didn’t have a reservation anywhere because we never plan ahead far enough to know when we will be staying in town. After much searching, it turned out the nicest RV “Resort” in town had a spot open in their overflow lot. It suited us just fine as we nestled our tiny R-Pod in amongst commercial buses and campers that could house 20-30 people if they wanted to. This park had all paved spots, perfectly manicured grass, hot tub, pool, business lounge, laundry, and even a room with free coffee, TV and couches. It was a nice refreshing change, although we did get some dirty looks while we were deep cleaning our camper and truck and had everything strewn acrossed the lot like the Griswold family.
We relaxed in Bend for a few days enjoying the AC and other luxuries of the RV Resort before making our way back into the woods near the town of Sisters, roughly 30 miles to the North. Our new spot is perfect, only three miles outside of town in a big open area of BLM land. Not only does it have “FOUR BARS!” of cell phone service but it’s easy to get in and out of town and Olive is allowed to run free! After a quick set up on Thursday morning we headed to the Tamolitch Blue Pool on the McKenzie River. It was a short four-mile hike leading to the most beautiful emerald pool we have ever seen. As we wound our way along the bank of the McKenzie River through the Douglas Fir trees we imagined what we would see at the end, only to be completely blown away by what we actually saw. The pool is set into a basin about 25 feet below the cliffs we walked in on. People lined the shore staring into the crystal clear water. You can see 30 feet down to the bottom of the pool. Tara and I arrived prepared, we backpacked our floaties in thinking we would kill the rest of the afternoon relaxing in the water. WRONG. The water is maybe 35 degrees, it’s basically liquid ice. We found that out as we dove off the edge having the air sucked out of our bodies and our muscles almost ceasing to work. We barely made it back to shore. Turns out everyone else already knew how cold the water was, only a few other brave soles jump in for 10-15 seconds. While we were there, a few daredevils even jumped from the 20-foot cliffs, but the swim to shore was too long for us to even consider that!
We hiked back out and found a “normal” lake to spend the afternoon at. As we drove back though Sisters we scoped out all the cute little shops and restaurants that make up the historic looking downtown. Tara looked out longingly at the boutiques, coffee shops and wineries as the people walked about. We stopped and walked a few blocks and found a window with the town’s upcoming events. There are live bands, trivia nights (maybe we should try to redeem ourselves from the Flagstaff humiliation) that are happening throughout the week. It looks pretty fun and inviting, we may have found our home for the next week!
Lastly, we want to extend a special “thank you!” to all that have ordered shirts from our website! We are excited how they have turned out and we will continue to work on more designs. We really enjoy working on those as well as working with other companies out here on the road. Some of you may have seen that we partnered with CUSA Tea for a hike. They make an instant tea using real tea leaves without adding sugar. We have enjoyed their teas as I’m sure many of you other tea drinkers would as well! Use our code CUSAMICRO for 30 percent off your order at www.cusatea.com. Ross will also be writing a guest Blog post for them that can be seen on their website later this week!