Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Our Crater Lake adventure

We had an Amazing trip tp Crater Lake. SO many things to be thankful for on our trip.
* We headed up on Sunday to the KOA in Shasta... I was really nervous I haven't heard good things about KOAs but it was perfect for a one night stay. While in Shasta City we had dinner at Black Bear Diner to celebrate Missy's actual birthday. We did a bit of Geo Caching with one success and one failure. We played in the park and showered in the morning.
We visited Hedge Creek Falls, which was beautiful. The kids LOVED walking behind and touching the falls. The perfect falls to play in even if just for a moment. We searched for a cache but soon realized it was corrupted and no where to be found... good thing Daddy brought the Ipod. Once we finished exploring we hiked back up and found another cache!!!
* We made a quick little trip into Dunsmuir admiring the only working turntable in CA. My boy was in awe at it's beauty. I only wish we could have seen it working for him. The Dunsmuir station was small and nostalgic.
* Before leaving the Shasta area we stopped at the oldest working hatchery this side of Mississippi. The kids and Daddy loved exploring the grounds, and admiring all the possibilities of catching the fish. They feed the fish and watched them go crazy. The little museum had so many cool little exhibits; an original fire car, an working phone that was once on a train, and a few displays of old fishing gear. It was a great stop.
* On our way to Crater Lake we decided to stop to pick our own lavender. It was an adventure to drive up the long, steep, red rocky road. The new car was covered in a fine red dust. I'm not sure if it was worth the drive up for the whole family. I loved it. It smelled beautiful and was a gorgeous site to be seen. Shasta Mountain was far off in the back round adding to the beauty of the fields. I was the only one to pick lavender, the kids ran around and scrapped their knees. We sipped lavendar lemonade and enjoyed the view before heading back down.
* We made it to Crater Lake on Monday afternoon. We set of Camp and relaxed with family.
* On Tuesday after getting-up we headed up to actually see Crater Lake, get our Jr. Ranger goodies, and go for a hike. I simply can't describe how beautiful Crater Lake is. It is the bluest place I have ever seen. It is simply mesmerizing and amazing. After simply taking in the beauty we hiked around checking out different angles of Wizard Island, listed to a lecture about how it was formed, and ate lunch at the lodge.
* After lunch we took a short drive out to the pinnacles. We went on a short hike to see them closer. Once again they were amazing and beautiful. Our photos don't even describe how big and unique they are.
* After enjoying Crater Lake & the Pinnacles the kids went to Jr. Ranger school. We were very fortunate to have a Ranger, Ranger Don "Dog" to ourselves. He took us on a private hike teaching the kids how to use their senses while hiking.
* On Wednesday we ventured out on a hike down the Annie Creek trail, battling mosquitoes and heat. The kids did far better than I would have thought. The rest of the day was spent relaxing at camp, letting the kids play and get to know each other. It was nice to have nothing to do but play Uno a million times.
* On our last day at Crater Lake we hit a few more trails, hiking up to the highest point in the area, a fire look out. Then also hiking around the Visiter Center to see the "Lady in the woods". the views were amazing from the top of the Ranger fire look out. And the Lady in the woods was cool, carved out of a rock. But I would say the best part of the day was when the kids got sworn in as Jr. Rangers. I thought they would be handed a little card saying you passed yippy. But no, they questioned them about what they had learned, they gave each of them a Jr. Ranger badge, and silenced the entire room having them applaud the kids accomplishments. It made the kids feel good and made them accountable for what they had done, very proud indeed.
* We spent our evening p laying more games, eating smores, and saying our good byes. It was a quick week, a long trip and well worth it. The Crater was amazing to see, the kids learned a ton of things about why and what we had visited, We went on some really amazing hikes, and most importantly we spent some real quality time with family.
* On Friday we began our trek home. We drove over to Collier State Park to see the Logging Museum. Turned out to be a great stop. Then we stopped at a war memorial statue display discovering our first Geo Bug while there. We made it home at around 7 that night with no broken bones only a few mosquito bites and happy hearts after a great trip.

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