So here I am sitting in my tent by Crooked River, eating my attempt at Pasta-Roni over an open fire. I’m writing on my laptop as my old Paperwhite Kindle lights up the tent. How’s it taste? Well, like Pasta-roni over an open fire. There’s bits of sausage in there too, which makes it well…edible camp food. It’s warm, perhaps a bit of comfort food after a day of rain. At least it’s not another Cliff bar, right?
Fumbling around trying to eat and cook in the dark is a pain. Word of advice. Whether carcamping, or backpacking it, always bring a headlamp.
This trip is full of twists and turns, but everything seems to go well. Cancelled my trip to Arizona as the Grand Canyon, Sedona and the other cool places were having thunderstorms. So hey, I thought I might as well see a natural wonder right here in Oregon-Crater Lake. The site was pretty much how I’d expected it, but like a lot of epic sites, the photographs don’t do it justice. You just have to be there.
You have to experience it, driving by the cliffs focusing on the turns for dear life. To get out of the car, feel the wind on your face. Then wondering what it looks like up by the rail, then once walking up, seeing it in awe for the first time. Yes, Wizard Island, just like the photos, but the crater is huge.
To get to Crater Lake, you take Highway 97 and then Route 62 to Crater Lake. I took I-5 from the North, then took Or-58 near Eugene, which goes to 97. There are no campgrounds open in the fall, but you can camp by Diamond Lake nearby. If you want to backpack, you’ll need a permit.
Start Hanging with Inspiring People
On the way to camp I picked up a couple through-hikers. Two girls in late 20s or 30s had to get back to the trail from the ranger station and hitched a ride with me. They hiked the Pacific Crest Trail all the way from Stevenson, Washington. They’d just about hiked all the way through the Oregon PCT to the California border, and then they were going back home to the Midwest. After they thanked me profusely, I thanked them in turn for inspiring me. Because it’s true, they did far more for me than I ever did by helping them a bit.
What was it about these girls that changed me? Walk in the Woods and Wild are great stories. But meeting those who actually did it inspired me with reality. There was LIFE to them, and the fact that I got to be a small part of that story by giving them a ride made it even better.
To think, the whole world is at your fingertips. Creating your own story is what inspired the brand name of Outback Tales.
It’s not about how grand it is compared to others. You don’t have to climb Everest. Your story could be just going somewhere you haven’t gone or taking a step in your career you’re afraid of taking.