Crater Lake National Park + Rogue River

After my interview on the coast, I drove inland to visit my buddy Mitty in Eugene, OR.  Mitty and I have done a bunch of traveling together, so true to form we rallied for a road trip down to Crater Lake National Park and Joseph H. Stewart State Recreation Area.  The interview I had on Tuesday was actually for two positions -- one at Beverly Beach and the other at Joseph Stewart.  I've been researching the bojebus out of both places, but there's nothing like actually going there and seeing it for myself!

Our trip to Crater Lake National Park did not get off to a promising start.  The weather was cold and drizzly, and the views were totally socked in with fog.  But we decided to wait it out, and it totally paid off -- the fog rolled away to show the clear, dazzling blue waters.  Amazing.  

Wizard Island

socked in with fog & entertaining ourselves with lichen

Crater Lake go down almost 2,000ft -- it's the deepest lake in the US and one of the ten deepest in the world!  The lake was formed 7,700 years ago when the volcanic Mount Mazama catastrophically erupted.  Without the underlying magma to support it, the top of the volcano collapsed, leaving behind a giant caldera.  The caldera eventually filled in with rain and snowmelt, forming Crater Lake.  Wizard Island sits defiantly in the middle of the lake -- it's a cinder cone produced by a later volcanic eruption.

After Crater Lake, we hit the road again and drove along the Rogue River.  The water was clear and roaring, and the canyon walls were coated with ferns and moss.  

The Rogue is classified as a 'Wild and Scenic River,' which means it's protected from development.  It runs through southwest Oregon from Crater Lake to the Pacific, and it's known for its whitewater rafting, salmon runs, and rugged scenery.  I'm definitely coming back with the ducky to raft the 35-mile run of Class III+ rapids downstream of Grants Pass!

We drove along the Rogue and made our way to Joseph H. Stewart Rec Area, which is located along Lost Creek Reservoir.  So far in my career I've only worked at 'scenic parks' with less of a focus on recreation, and honestly I'm not wild about reservoirs.  But at least reservoirs in Oregon seem a little different and fit in with the landscape a bit more -- they don't seem like giant evaporation tanks!

Mitty and I finished the loop up to Eugene that night, and I drove back to Portland the next day just in time for the North American Organic Brewers festival. I hung out with the fam a bit more and got to see another cousin with another new baby.  :)

The next afternoon, I caught my flight back to Salt Lake City.  I settled down into my seat -- tired but satisfied.  Even if I don't get the job, it was a great trip.  I got to soak up some much needed ocean/tree/rain/moss, see some really incredible places, visit family and friends, and escape the hot desert summer for a week. Fingers crossed!