O Really wrote: ↑
Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:51 pm
So today was Crater Lake NP, day one. We've been to most of the big parks and a lot of smaller ones and state parks and Crater Lake just jumped to the top. We got to drive the entire rim on a beautiful clear sunny day. Ordinarily, that would seem to be good fortune, but I had no idea how lucky that is. The rim road is only open about 4 months a year, roughly July-October, and a lot of that time the park is cloudy and/or the lake misty and much of the time you can't see the lake at all, or clearly the mountains around. Today, you could see for miles. In addition to the drive, we took a couple of short hikes, one along the rim and the other to a spectacular waterfall. (Yeah, having seen many great waterfalls in WNC, I still found it spectacular) The lake's color is crystal blue, clear to the bottom of its almost 2,000 depth and some of the purest water in the world. Crater Lake is pretty much out of the way for anybody coming from most anywhere, but absolutely worth it. It somebody was going on a national park trip and asked about Crater Lake or Grand Canyon or Glacier or even Arches and maybe Yellowstone, I'd say go to Crater Lake. Tomorrow is likely not so clear and sunny, but we've got a good hike planned, part of which is on the Pacific Crest Trail.
And don't forget The Pinnacles: https://www.americansouthwest.net/orego ... trail.html
More travel tips:
Youth hostels. Join Hosteing International ( https://www.hiusa.org/hostels
) and stay in them where you can -- you meet all sorts of interesting people. Before you book, check them out to see whether they are full of drug addicts though. My favorites are two former lighthouses on the West Coast south of San Francisco, and the 'Sin City Hostel' in Las Vegas. (I stayed there with my wife and her pre-teen grandchildren a few years ago, and had to quickly think of a story to explain a woman walking down the sidewalk outside with a whip. Some good shooting ranges in Las Vegas as well.)
Valley of Fire State Park, not far from Las Vegas. It's not on the International Tourist Trail, which fills up the National Parks in August with furriners, bless them, and is beautiful in its own right.
The ferry from Bellingham Washington to Alaska ( http://alaskaferry.com/FerrySchedules/A ... nformation
) If you're a backpacker, you can travel cheaply by pitching your tent on the deck. An amazing journey along the Inner Passage, and Alaska is wonderful as well.
On the other side of the country, the Eighth Maine Regiment Memorial 'hotel' on Peaks Island near Portland (Maine). A wonderful story, look it up, and a great place to stay. Do your own cooking there. And while you're in that part of Maine, go visit the home of Joshua Chamberlain, a most amazing man, whose story every American should know. It's celebrated in the novel The Killer Angels
, one of the best war novels ever written in my opinion, and also in the movie Gettysburg.
He was a professor at Bowdoin College. If only our professors today were like him! A summary of his life is here ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua_Chamberlain
), but read the novel!