Thursday, July 22, 2010


or Thank God for Digital Cameras...
I forgot to add that every time we go to a museum or some sort of display, Big P wants me to take a picture of him standing next to each display.  There is this little museum that overlooks Crater Lake.  I have pictures of Big P standing next to each display case.  He wanted me to take a picture of him next to each picture (there is a wall of framed pictures- some old, some new) but I convinced him that it would be alright if I just took one picture of him standing in the middle of the wall:)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 2 Crater Lake and how a one mile hike can turn into five miles...

Paul looked up the 10 day  forecast for each destination on our trip in order that we would be able to pack appropriately.  Crater Lake was supposed to be high of 60.  It was more like high of 75 in the shade.  Not complaining, but I did pack a lot of long sleeve shirts and pants (along with skirts for monastery/church visiting).  I only brought two pairs of shorts (which can definitely not be worn at the monastery) and our plan was to not do any laundry at all during the vacation (there really wasn't a chance to do any laundry).

Day 2- we went to the two visitor centers, watched a movie about Crater Lake, picked up our Junior Ranger activity books (the boys do activities and earn stamps to eventually earn a Junior Ranger Patch which is kind of cool because my boys collect patches from different places that we visit and I sew them on their school backpacks- my sister came up with this idea first so credit goes to her:).  We bought postcards for the grandma and both sets of cousins and mailed them.  We saw lots of amazing views of the lake and Paul really really wanted to do the hike down to the lake.  I asked the ranger how it was (difficulty-wise- we DO have a four year old).  Ranger said it is easy going down, difficult going up.  Ok, well, let's give it a shot.  Later in the evening at the campsite, one of the rangers had a program and he said that hike is a mile down, five miles up.  That felt about right.  Paul ended up carrying little p on his shoulders most of the way up.  I was with Big P and about a million mosquitoes.  It was nice at the water (very cold, by the way).  Big P and I tried stopping every so often on the trail back up, but each time we stopped, we were attacked by all those mosquitoes.  So we kept going.  This is the only hike that I have ever heard Big P complain on- and we have done lots of hiking with him.  And he never complains. 

We went back to the site and made dinner and went to the ranger program.  The next day we were leaving for St. John of Shanghai monastery in Manton, CA so we began packing some things.  At the entrance of the campground there were showers ($.75 for 4 minutes).  We decided to shower on our way out in the morning.  End of day 2 (I don't think anyone could ever tire of just looking at the lake- it was disappointing to not be able to drive around the whole lake- ti na kanoume (what can you do).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

First stop- Crater Lake (three days, two nights)- Day 1

I am going to try to write up some of our experiences from our vacation in early July.  I think I will do it day by day.  I will maybe post a few pictures, too.

I am a  native Oregonian.  I have never been to Crater Lake (does that sound like an almost sin?).  I have always wanted to go.  So, as part of our Summer Vacation 2010 adventure, we decided to divide up our driving into roughly four hour time slots (drive four hours- stop somewhere for at least one night- continue driving).  We thought it would be easier on the youngest son to not drive 12 hours in one day.  Which, it did work out well overall (except on two occasions, but those are future posts).

Words are insufficient to describe Crater Lake.  You enter the park and there is no lake.  Drive for a short distance (up) and then round a bend and you see it.  Rob/Paul says it is the most beautiful place he has ever been (and he has travelled all over the US).  The deep blue of the water reminded us of the blue of the Mediteranean.  But this is a LAKE.  He grew up surrounded by lakes (the great lakes anyone?).  And he had never seen a lake quite like this.  And you cannot just walk down to the lake.  There are two (I believe) trails that lead down to the lake- otherwise it is a literal bowl of water- cliffs straight down to the water.

Ok, other than the indescribable beauty (I agree, it is one of the most beautiful sites I have ever visited- I would have liked to have been one of those pioneers who happened on the lake- a few too many tourists to call it really peaceful) I was surprised by the amount of snow still on the ground!  We could not do the rim drive because half the rim road was closed due to snow (all the while I am thinking that we are camping in this- Paul has threatened to take me winter camping on Mt. Hood every year - he goes with friends- I always decline- camping in snow just doesn't sound fun to me).  Anyway, it was not ever cold, just that there were snow packs on the ground.  Even in our campsite.  And because it is such a late thaw, the mosquitoes were everywhere.  I stepped out of our vehicle to be greeted by hundreds of eager mosquitoes, ready for dinner (and we were dinner).  One can of deep woods off later we were ready to battle the mosquitoes (needless to stay, after three days and two nights at this site, the mosquitoes won) and set up camp.  It was a nice site.  We had our own personal snowpack that little p had fun climbing up and down (declaring that he was king of the mountain). 

We walked around our campground.  Paul and Big P hiked the trail down to Annie Creek (I believe that was what it was called?!?).  little p did not want to go- which was probably a good thing because there was a lot of snow on the trails and would have been a difficult hike for him.

*no pictures posted, yet.  I deleted them off of the laptop after posting them on Facebook (we keep our pictures on the upstairs computer).

Monday, July 05, 2010

Vacation Starts Today...

Today we are leaving for our summer vacation.
First stop, Crater Lake for 3 days, two nights.
Next stop, the Monastery of St. John of San Francisco for one night.
Third stop, San Francisco for 3 days, two nights.
Fourth stop, St.Herman's monastery for one night.
Then head back to Oregon and maybe stay somewhere for one night or drive straight home (depending on how we feel).

We are camping except when we are at the monasteries.  I don't think I have gone camping for this long (I went on one really big packpacking trip that was about a week long but not camping). 

I don't know if we are going to have internet access- I don't want to take the laptop but DH wants to take it.
See you in a week!!!