Day 88

Sunday, August 21, 2005Gold Beach, OR
Miles: 10689Damn you, BLM!

Since we would have had to get up ecessively early again, I'm sure you all know that there was no boat ride in our future. You can always walk down the trail to the boat dock though, and since that is the only access to the lake, we did just that. After a leisurely breakfast of cherry pancakes, of course.

When we arrived at the parking lot for the trailhead, we saw that there were still some boats available for later in the day, but they were really too late for us to take and still arrive in Gold Beach at a reasonable hour. Not that we ended up there at a reasonable hour anyway, but that's a different story altogether. One you will hear about later. Argh. Anyway, on to the lake. We took the nice trail down, thinking that it would really suck when we had to come back up, as it is unrelentingly steep.

We made it to the bottom without incident and within a matter of minutes, Ceridwen was trying to find her way into the lake. She had meant to bring a bathing suit, but hadn't remembered. Luckily, Keath was willing to give up his boxers and she was wearing her snazzy wicking shirt, so she changed and then leapt into the icy water. Oh so cold. Warmer than the ocean, but with no wetsuit in sight, it was a cold, cold swim. But swimming out over the drop off and seeing the deep blue column was definately worth it. The water was so clear that she kept thinking she could stand up, but of course the water was dozens of feet deep, even close to shore.

After swimming around until her legs were numb, Ceridwen got out and started pressuring Keath to take a dip. After all, when would he get another chance to swim in a water filled caldera? As we walked up to the bathroom to change, we came around a corner and saw... naked man butt! Agh! Someone else had forgotten his swimsuit too and wasn't seeking creative solutions, he was just jumping off the cliff and into the water with his buddies hanging out. Luckily, we only saw butt, no buddies. It was really too early in the morning for that.

After wiggling into wet boxers, Keath made the plunge and quickly swam out over the edge so he too could see the column of blue. Then he got out. We hadn't been hungry for lunch, but after burning up calories to keep from getting hypothermia, we were suddenly hungry, so we rescued our lunch from the wildlife that kept trying to eat it and ate it our damn selves. Then we hiked back up to the parking lot. The hike back wasn't as horrid as we had been expected, and of course there were beautiful views all around.

When we got back to the van, it was time to bid adieu to Crater Lake. We debated going back the same route we had come in, but ultimately decided against it. (If we ever get a time machine, we'll go back and talk some sense into ourselves.) We headed out the south end of Crater Lake NP and headed for the shore. After a brief stint on I-5, we headed into the wilderness for about 40 or so miles, only to be confronted with a sign that said that the road was closed. Oh. Lovely. You couldn't have told us this when we got off the highway?!?!?!? Not that it would have cut that much off our detour, but still. Our detour ended up being about 200 miles. Ugh. We debated staying over in Roseberg, but when we got there, we decided to just keep driving and get to our destination. We saw several deer, but none of them attacked us and we made it to Gold Beach around 11 pm and promptly fell asleep.