July 18- Today I learned I had never really seen the color blue until I saw Crater Lake. But let's back up to yesterday. We awoke yesterday in Trinidad, California, a beautiful little coastal town, at a campground under redwood trees that we were really excited about staying at until we realized our site backed to the highway we had just gotten off of. Oh, well.
Yesterday's destination was Redwoods National Park. What an amazing place. We hiked through the Lady Bird Johnson Grove, did another hike to the Trillium waterfall, and then went to see the Big Tree, which at 23 feet in diameter, was actually bigger than any of the sequoias we saw. I really liked Redwoods because, unlike in the sequoia grove, which had about 25 of them, the redwoods were all over the place.
We decided that we were going to skip Lassen—we took a look at the curvature of the road on the map, thought about how long it had taken us to get up the California coast, and decided it was just too far out of the way. Lassen isn't too far from Tahoe, and since we definitely want to go back there, we will make sure to catch it later.
From Redwoods, we drove into Oregon and stopped a little north of Medford, ready to get to Crater Lake today. Another amazing place, and, as mentioned above, I have never seen such a beautiful shade of blue. We did one hike up along the rim from near the Lodge, taking us to one of the higher vantages above the lake. The upper part of the trail was still snowed over. After lunch, we headed around the lake to the one place where there is a trail to descend to the Lake itself. After some deliberation about whether to go all the way down (since it's 700 feet of uphill on the way back), we did it, and we were so glad we did. We ended up jumping in the lake—I didn't stay in for very long, it was refreshing on the feet but freakin' cold in the full body experience. Rob and Kieran not only spent some time in the water, but also jumped off the 20-foot rock outcropping. Nice thing about a 1900-foot-deep caldera lake is that you don't have to worry about whether the water is deep enough to jump in. I think the water had about 2 feet of waist-deep water, another 5 feet of head-high water, and then the caldera walls dropped off to about 100 feet. We recommended that Kieran not play his favorite swim game of dropping a penny to the bottom and then dive for it.
We left Crater in late afternoon and drove toward Bend, a town that Rob has been interested in checking out. We found a campsite in the national forest (in wireless range), in the middle of what turns out to be a volcanic national monument. So we are going to check it out in the morning; might make up for missing Lassen. Supposedly this place has a mile-long obsidian flow.