Oregon! (our sixth stop!)
I like Oregon. It’s a friendly state. (But, if you’re trying to get to western Oregon, the state is a lot wider than one might assume from a map.)
However, once you make it to western Oregon, it’s totally worth it! Heck, I’d Rollerblade across Oregon to see this:
Crater Lake is perhaps the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen! Ever! The lake water is insanely blue and the landscape is magnificent.
The only downside: it was super duper cold! It was quite warm at the bottom of the mountain. It was a lot colder at the top of the mountain. Vacationers were piling out of cars to see the lake and then piling right back into cars to find whatever odd assortment of warm clothing happened to be at their fingertips.
Crater Lake seemed very peaceful, but this sign seemed to suggest the lake may become vicious if people get too close.
I stayed back, just in case Nessie currently resides in Oregon.
If you have travel plans anywhere remotely close to Crater Lake — GO! Seriously. It’s like the Brussels sprouts of vacation locations.
After we left Crater Lake, we headed north to Eugene. A disproportionate number of NPR callers are from Eugene, and I wanted to say I’d set foot in the city.
En route to Eugene, we saw some signs about some road being closed…somewhere.
Turns out, it was the road we needed. And it was completely shut down until 6 a.m. the next morning. (Oregon doesn’t mess around with road construction. Or, perhaps the state is too cheap to pay for pilot cars and flagger people.)
We wound up here:
Crescent Lake — population: 1 bar and 1 hotel; very little else. This picture pretty much captures the town.
We considered this to be less than ideal. We were tent-dwellers, and the best place to pitch our home seemed to be the parking lot of the bar. Or the ditch in front of the bar. We feared supper would consist of greasy French fries and Bud Light.
But, we did note (several times!) that this unfortunate camping experience would make a great story when we got back to Iowa!
AND — our unfortunate tale turned out to be a tale of fortune and a tale of YERT!
After we stopped at the Crescent Lake bar and learned the only way we could possibly escape the town is if: (1) it was daylight; (2) we were locals; and (3) we had a 4-wheeler, we started looking for a parking spot for the tent.
The RV park had a strict “no tent” rule, but we were told we could pitch a tent down the road in a national forest. When we got to the national forest campground, we saw this (!!!!!):
A YERT! For the low price of $30, we got to stay in a yert and enjoy amenities like a bed and a wood stove! Much better than pitching a tent in a ditch.
To make the situation even better, the national forest had a little resort with a restaurant — an awesome restaurant that served us giant spinach salads, warm berry pie, and local beer!
I think our Crescent Lake experience can be summed up with the popular phrase: when life hands you a closed road, find a nearby yert and enjoy life!
In addition to fabulous lakes and excellent produce, Oregon also had some great signs:
This sign was in a laundromat. (We desperately needed to stop here — Ron Prius smelled like wet socks.) I wouldn’t recommend hiring this person for yard work unless you really need fertilizer in your yard.