Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Prehistoric Pool

We got to Cascadia at about 10:30 at night, when it was already dark and quiet hours were in full swing at the campsite. So it was a nice surprise in the morning when we crawled out of our tent and found this:
Laaaaa! Okay I know in this picture it just looks like trees, but I swear, people, some angels started singing when I drew back the tent door.  

After some good-morning cuddles and instant oatmeal, we packed up and set off to explore Cascadia. It is beautiful! Apparently there used to be a whole resort there, because people believed that the soda spring water there could heal any number of ailments. Then they tore down the resort and made it a campground. But don't worry, because they still have a drinking fountain! We didn't know if it was the spring water that heals ailments, but we drank from it just in case.

We meant to find the Cascade Springs that we had seen on the Google machine, but even if we didn't find them, we liked the place we did fine. Stephen did some swimming and I did some photographing, and then we both picked our way across the rocks to a secret waterfall on the other side.

This picture right here explains pretty well why I didn't go swimming :)
The water was so clear! You could see every rock. Stephen reached his arms above his head and then touched the bottom with his toes, and he was completely submerged, even his hands. So we guessed it was about 10 feet deep. 

It was beautiful! It was like this secret world. I think I would love to have it in my backyard one day. It would be so zen - I would be so zen! I mean, can you even?
Feeling refreshed, we left Cascadia and headed south towards Crater Lake. On our way, we saw entire miles of mountains full of trees that had been burned to a crisp.

It was humbling to see, but also kind of hopeful. Even though the land looked totally devastated, new life was beginning there. So just keep that in mind if you ever feel like this burned-up forest!

When we were 20 minutes from the North entrance of Crater Lake, we got detoured. The North entrance was closed c/o the fire that seemed determined to RUIN OUR VACATION, and we were re-directed to the South entrance. Which obviously took longer to get to. We didn't get into the park until after 5pm.

The good thing about Crater Lake is that once you're there, you can see the lake pretty immediately. We did a quick hike stroll to the little gazebo viewpoint / visitor center exhibit thing they have and learned all about how it was formed. (I already forgot the details, but I'm preeeettttttyy sure it used to be a volcano, and then it exploded, and rain filled it in. Now it's one of the clearest lakes in the world - which you could tell even from as high up as we were.)

It was so smoky. I'm sure when the air is clearer, it looks amazing.

There's only one hike down to the lake's edge. People can take boat tours during the day, but we got there too late for that. We considered just staying the night, taking a quick dip in the water the next morning, and then continuing on to the Redwoods, but it was far from the Redwoods, and we wanted to make sure we had enough time there. So at around 7:00, when the sun had already started going down, we quickly changed into swimsuits and ran down the trail.

It's only about a mile to the dock, and since it was downhill the whole way, it wasn't bad. The bad part was when we got there and had to jump in the water. I dipped my toe in and it was freezing! 

I also dipped my husband in, and he froze as well. 
Then he swam around and said blatant lies like, "It's not that bad!" "I'm used to it now." "I mean it's cold but it's not terrible." "At this point it's colder for me out of the water than it is in it!" 
I didn't believe him. But looking at this lake, and seeing that the sun had already set, I realized that it was my only chance to jump in a prehistoric pool! And I found myself sitting down and sliding on my bum to the edge of the dock....
.....and cannonballing in. In a slow, gentle, torturous kind of non-cannonball. But I got in, dangit!

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