There is very poor visibility. Even from the top of Crat Lake, the haze was beginning.
Driving north on 97 today reminded me of hiking during our foggy winter days. Reaching the top of a mountain and explaining to your companions what they would be seeing if there was any visibility at all.
Forest fires were raging just to the north and the farther north I drove, the denser the smoke. At the top of one rise was a pull-out with a map identifying all the immediate mountain peaks including Mount Hood. My fertile imagination filled in the very big blank.
Happily, the smoke didn’t really diminish the pleasure I took in the day. Abby and I were off early and got to Crater Lake well before the ticket booth opened – and I did not have the right amount of money. I waited until a lodge employee drove up – he had no change either but he advised me that at this time of the morning, if the toll both was not staffed, I didn’t have to pay. Hmmmmm
Off I drove to the crater. OMG!!!
Magnificent – with the sun just having risen over this impossibly glorious sight. And not one other tourist to be seen. I had the rare delightmofmhaving Crater Lake all to myself – just one more reason to get up early!
When I was done ogling and photographing, Imheaded north to the Columbia River Gorge. As I exited I noticed that the toll booth was staffed so I did a U, headed back and paid. I felt so good about myself. I have noticed that every time I do the “right” thing, especially when I don’t have to or when no one is there to witness, my self esteem goes up.
Back on the road. And a Lon road it was today, often very lonely, always changing. Tonight we are in Olympia. An early start tomorrow should get us home in the afternoon. I think both Abby and I are ready to sleep in our own beds. I love travelling. The wonders of this world are staggering. And I have had so many encounters with people – from park wardens to gas station attendants and other travelers, all of them exceptionally pleasant. And this is what I love about travel – the kinship I discover with the rest of the human race.