Sunday, October 5, 2008

Day 280: Crater Lake, Mountain Driving Terror, and more Balloon Ride Bliss

First, before I rant and rave about mountain driving, let me point out that after leaving my brother's in Graham, WA, on we stayed overnight in Crater Lake, Oregon, on Monday, Sept 22. Crater Lake National Park is described as "the most under-rated National Park in the U.S" by 1000 Places to See Before you Die. I'm not planning on dying soon, but driving in mountains makes me feel like I might, or might want to.

Anyway, we stayed in a cabin, no TV, no computer, no phone, no cell service. My son and husband, who are clearly not Ludites, practically lost it! Until Scott realized he could still plug-in his computer and play the movie (excellent) Darjeeling Express on it. Personally, I missed having a hair dryer. So this first photo is of my family "roughing it."

Crater Lake is truly beautiful. It's 1943 feet deep, and rests inside a caldera formed approximately 7700 years ago when a 12000' tall volcano collapsed, following a major eruption! Water temperature is 38 degrees year round, and the lake is 4.5 miles by 6 miles across. Beautiful, but you have to drive up mountains to get to it, and walk along look-out points.

Balloon Installment # 4

Yesterday, I posted photos of our launch, and today I'll show you a few photos of us up in the air. This first one is of Frank, our pilot. Both Doug and I independently and unbeknownst to each other, prayed for his health.

These are not technically great photos, but look at the look of bliss on Doug and Scott's faces. That perfectly describes what it felt like up in the air--not intense, but blissful.

This is an aerial (balloonial?) view of a vineyard from our basket:

Another blissfull look, this time on me:

See you tomorrow!


Jackie's Shot said...

Wow!!!To go up in a balloon ...must be an incredible feeling. I think you really captured your adventure so well in your photographs. ~Jackie

Anonymous said...

Wow those are some amazing shots...the balloon thing would freak me out!!! My inlaws do this for the local collage they work for in Missouri...well I have had the chance a few times and always chicken out! (Even when the balloon is teathered to the ground!)

Jeanne said...

Fantastic! The pictures are truly wonderful.

I had to giggle when you said that your guys don't like roughing it. I guess a week long hike in the Sierra Nevada mountains (like I have done several times in my youth) is out of the question? Too funny that watching the movie on a laptop calmed them. Ü

Michelle said...

beautiful shots! I love all that blue!

pat said...

I hear you about mountain driving...when we went up to Rainier I was sure I was going to die! LOVE the shots of Crater Lake--it's on my list. It's such an incredible blue... And of course, just digging the balloon photos.

Amy ~ Just Being Aimlyss said...

Beautiful shots! I live up in the mountains and my daily driving is crazy, lots of steep and winding roads...lots of fun once it snows! :)

How cool you went in the hot air balloon, looks like so much fun.

Amy said...

WOW...I just spent a few minutes reading back over the posts I had missed. Looks like a wonderful vacation. Can't wait to see even more.

S.Kremer said...

Beautiful backdrop! I would love to ride in a hot air balloon some day:)

Shawna (shawkrem)

Gypsy Girl said...

That has got to be the most beautiful lake ever. Wow. You looked like you really enjoyed seeing your son and your trip. I did not feel as blissful as you when i went up in a balloon. I felt like the bottome was gonna fall out the entire time. I had to pretend to like it cuz dh suprised me with a champage flight for one of our anniversaries.