Last weekend Duke and I took a four day vacation. On Friday we drove from Reno to Portland. On Saturday we enjoyed the Elder Blogger meet up I described in my last post. The get together was hosted by Ronni Bennett of Time Goes By Blog.
From Ronni's house Duke and I headed into Portland to explore. I have always wanted to visit Powell's Books. It was packed with people and really lived up to its City of Books name. I bought several paperbacks.
We then strolled around and enjoyed the Portland vibe. It reminded me of Berkeley. We discovered a wonderful spice store Penzeys Spices. Each spice display had a jar of that spice that you could open and smell. It was olfactory heaven! We bought a few and I picked up a free curry recipe to try.
Monday we headed south down interstate 5 and stopped to see my friends HD and Una. I interviewed HD for episode 4 of my podcast. HD and I worked together at Spectra Medical Systems many years ago. Coincidentally Una was our pediatrician's nurse when my girls were little. We had tea and scones and a great visit.
From Roseburg we drove east along the Umpqua River to Crater Lake National Park. It rained continuously. When we got to Crater Lake we could hardly see the lake because the fog was so thick.
We stayed at Crater Lake Lodge and played cribbage and read until our dinner reservation in the Lodge dining room. The meal was wonderful. One of the best steaks I have had in months and the sweet potato fries were awesome.
The lodge was built between 1910 and 1915 but in the 1990s it had to be completely rebuilt to make it structurally sound. It reopened in 1995. It was the fourth national park lodge I have stayed in and it made me want to make a point of visiting others. So far each one has been special.
Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States. It is 1949 feet deep. When the sun shines on it it is an amazing wonderful shade of blue truly breath taking.
I got up during the night Sunday night and peaked out our window. The rain had stopped and the sky was clear. At the more than 7000 foot altitude of Crater Lake and with very little ambient light the bigger dipper looked like it was bright enough to reach up and touch.
Monday morning we got up and hike to the top of Garfield peak. It a a short1.8 mile hike to the top. The temperature was in the 40s while we were hiking. It had rained all day the day before and then frozen over night. The path was covered with the strangest ice I have ever seen. The ice was like millions of 1-2 inch blades of grass that had pushed up the dirt on the tail so that we crunched when we walked. Here are a couple of pictures of the ice crystals. Does anyone know what they are called?
When we finished our hike we headed home to Reno with a short stop at Lava Beds National Monument and then Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge. On the way home across the outback of northern Nevada we collected some more obsidian for our back yard.
I love exploring and meeting friends. This trip had wonderful opportunities for both.