Day 63 & 64: La Pine, Crater Lake, and Klamath Falls

What a couple of days!

Catherine chose to dedicate our ride into Crater Lake to her grandmother’s husband Dan Norman. Dan passed away in 2012 after a battle with esophageal cancer. He was a huge Auburn Tigers fan and a great handyman.

The ride started out really fast. We all made great time on the first 40 miles, partially because it was freezing in the morning and we were doing anything we could to get the blood pumping.

We had an 11 mile climb up to the rim of Crater Lake. It was challenging, but we all agreed that we have gotten so much stronger, and that it was really the narrow shoulder and traffic that made it difficult. We saw snow on the way up, and many of us stopped to put it down our shirts to cool off a bit. It was so incredibly odd to be profusely sweating and see this patch of snow just off the road.

We made it to the main lookout on the North Rim, and this is where I struggle to describe what it was like. Everyone just looked. I have never, ever seen water so blue. It’s the kind of blue that if it was a painting, and it was painted to look realistic, it would look unnatural. It was unbelievable to think that there used to be a volcano where we were standing, and that this lake just happened to form because it erupted and collapsed in on itself. It’s the deepest lake in the world, measuring over 2,000 feet at its deepest point. For this reason, the warmest it has ever been is 60 degrees at the surface. We didn’t have the chance to swim, but it would have been chilly for sure.

There was also a wildfire that had been burning for three days, and the wind was blowing it over the lake. The combination of the smoke and a very dangerous shoulder caused us to have to shuttle the last 9 miles of our ride to our campsite. We had a great last night camping. We sat around the fire, talked, laughed a lot, and looked up at the stars constantly. It was astonishing to see more and more come out by the minute. We also enjoyed brief visits from Steven’s parents and Catherine Kemp’s mom and grandma.

Today’s ride was dedicated to the mother of one of Sarah’s classmates. Her name is Andrea Soskel. She is a survivor of intraductile breast cancer.

We cleaned up our campsite and then went to a nearby lodge for breakfast. We didn’t get on the road until 10, but it was a shorter 54 mile day today. We all wore just about every piece of warm clothing we owned to breakfast, and in the 2 hours that passed it warmed up to the point of taking it all off before starting our ride. The day went by quickly, and we all were into the stay over by 3:30.

We are staying at Yeti’s Lair, a rock climbing gym in Klamath Falls. The owner, Mike, is super generous. He is providing dinner for us, bought us all coffee from the near by Dutch Brothers Coffee shop, and is doing everything he can to make sure we are comfortable.

We cross the bridge in San Francisco one week from today! We are all in denial.


Comments (2)
  • Lindsey's Mom says:

    Love the snow! Crater Lake looks fabulous. Glad you could have relatives visit to help provide some moral support!
    Thank you Mike for the hospitality!
    I think I finally have everyone’s names and faces straight in my head. You need to keep riding for at least another month now so that I can take advantage of my memory skills!
    Stay safe. Sleep well!

  • Lindsey says:

    I think we would all LOVE to keep riding!!!! So glad you have been able to figure out who all my buddies are :D

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