Northern California and Diamond Lake & Crater Lake, OR
Day 4: Monday, June 8, 2015
We slept in pretty late before packing up and hitting the road. We had a long day ahead of us. The valley just north of San Francisco was a scorching 109 degrees that day. We stopped for gas in the middle of nowhere and checked the oil level on the car because something was smelling weird and my cruise control was acting a little possessed. Having never checked oil on a car before, we just pulled out the first dipstick we found and there was some sort of fluid on it, so we assumed it was all good… several days later we realized that was not the oil dipstick but rather the radiator fluid (we’ll get to that later). Who’re the real dipsticks here??? Hahaha.
Our final destination for the day was Eureka, CA but we had stops pinned before that, starting with Glass Beach. Initially very disappointed having taken a 3 hour detour to see this beach, there was no glass anywhere!? Then we realized, we were at the wrong beach and had to back track a couple miles to find the secluded little cove. It was really neat and totally worth the stop. The entire shoreline was made of rounded (and some not so rounded) sea glass. We took some as souvenirs and went on our way.
Second pin of the day took us back through the Red Woods. Katie was behind the wheel and almost hit a deer. No words will suffice – you MUST see the video for this one. We were lucky enough to have the camera rolling. Nobody was harmed in the making of the video and the deer survived.
After that we stopped in Leggett to squeeze our beast of a vehicle through the Chandelier Tree. It is one of the largest red wood trees that is so big it has a tunnel carved through it, wide enough to fit a car. We had to do it! Was pretty dope.
That night we got into Eureka just after 10 and stayed with a couch surfer host named Shaun, whom was very kind to let us crash so late and on such short notice. Katie and I shared a pullout couch that was actually quite comfortable.
Lessons learned the hard way from Day 4:
- When visiting a place called “Glass Beach”, ware shoes.
- Do not attempt making tuna fish sandwiches while driving mountain roads.
Day 5: Tuesday, June 9, 2015
We woke super early to tackle 5 hours in the car across the Oregon border and out to Diamond Lake. The campground was empty so we got a prime spot, right on the lakeshore. We had a stunning and unobstructed view of a snow-capped mountain across the lake. It was totally unexpected and like nothing I’d ever seen before. After pitching the tent, I sat reclined with my feet in the water and laid out topless for a short while, completely undisturbed.
Another high school pal, Zach Murtha, and his pup Rory joined us later that afternoon. Zach came baring gifts; eggs, steak, boxed wine, whiskey, and a percolator (thank god because I’d been having serious coffee withdrawals). We built a fire, cooked dinner and watched a purely magical sunset.
We drank red wine and danced on tree stumps with our headlamps on to Miley and Taylor. By the end of the night we’d killed the entire whiskey bottle in an effort to stay warm.
Day 6: Wednesday, June 10, 2015
The morning got off to a pretty rough start. Dehydration, hangover, smoke inhalation, big bites… I was starting to feel the effects of life on the road. Luckily the campsite had “hot” showers (they were warm enough) and that sort of helped bring me back to life. A mid-morning nap was in order.
We drove 20 minutes to see Crater Lake. Lookouts provided a stunning panoramic view of THE bluest lake water I’ve ever seen. Completely breathtaking.
It made me realize that there is SO MUCH I’ve been missing in this world.
The lake was formed by a volcano. Inside the lake was a small island, which is also a volcano. So Crater Lake is basically a volcano inside a volcano. Pretty dope!
Zach left that afternoon and Katie and I were too lazy to take down the tent so we opted to just stay a second nigh at Diamond Lake. We met a couple of dudes who invited us to their campsite next door for fresh caught trout. It was so well seasoned and tasty. They also made us buttered mushroom cups and some really delicious Philly cheese steaks. Larry and Ed were brothers and huge Oregon Ducks fans (as all Oregonians are). I set aside my Seminole pride for a minute and ate off of their Oregon colored paper plates. We listened to country and drank beers. Then drove up to the Diamond Lake lodge to catch the last few minutes of Game 4 of the Stanley cup.
Day 7: Thursday, June 11, 2015
We woke up feeling much like we had the day before but we knew a warm bed in a temperature controlled apartment awaited us in Eugene, OR so we began to pack up our stuff. As I began taking down the tent, I realized that the space between the top of the tent and the rain cover had become totally infested with spiders! We (and by “we” I mean Katie, because I am a little bitch) did our best to flick them all off before cramming it into the trunk. Inevitably we felt like things were crawling all over us so we jumped off the end of the dock near the boat ramp before getting on the road. Water was frigid but I’ll tell you what – there is no better way to wake yourself up in the morning.
DON'T FORGET: If you wish to view the video in HD quality, please click on video and reroute yourself to the Vimeo site to see!