West Coast Craziness Day 3 - Crater Lake & wild weather


DIS Veteran
Feb 4, 2006
Ok, day 3. :)

We woke up and got going at a reasonable time. Our plan for the day was to get to Crater Lake. I'd heard a lot about how gorgeous the water was there and we were both pretty excited about it. The weather wasn't wonderful but it was clear and warm so we weren't too bothered.

The start of our route took us along Crater Lake highway and through a wood. It was gorgeous as you can see

There were hardly any cars around and as it was getting nicer out we paused a couple of times to take photos. This little picturesque spot in particular was far too tempting to pass, although Andy did laugh that he was standing in the middle of the wood with no one around making himself Cougar fodder. He asked what I'd do if he was attacked. I said I'd drive off ;)

We continued up the mountain to the Visitors Centre. As we entered the park itself the woman did say the weather was 'changable' but as we could see some grey clouds getting closer we weren't too surprised. We paid anyway and went in. At the visitors centre we wandered around a little, and I bought some stamps for postcards but the centre was pretty tiny. One sight I wasn't quite sure what to make of was a couple changing their child's diaper/nappy on the floor outside the toilets :erm:. Felt kinda sorry for the kid laid down on the dirty floor, especially when there were counters inside the toilets. Odd :confused2

Having got back in the car we headed to the next visitors centre up near the late. The weather was getting worse and by the time we parked there it was hammering down. Luckily we'd bought ponchos at Golden Gate so we shoved those on and ran inside to browse and get warm. Amazingly for us we didn't buy anything...anyone who knew us would think we were ill but I think we were more in the 'we need coffee' mode tbh lol.

Coming back out to the car we laughed that there was some snow and figured we should get going before it got worse. I'm still not sure if this was a good or bad idea. All I know is by the time we got to the lakeside we were in a full blizzard :confused2

Andy refused to get out of the car but I'm a photoholic so I ran to try and take a photo of the Lake. And I saw... NOTHING! Whilst I was stood there a lady asked if I could take her photo, then she took mine. Fir those of you who don't know what Crater Lake looks like...this is it:

And my picture of the same view:

I'm pulling a strange expression because whilst I'm grateful for the photo, at this point, in sandals, I was desperate to get back to the warmth of the car. Behind me in this photo is the Lake and Wizard's Island... beautiful isn't it? :erm:

We decided we should push on...it was either that or turn back and as we didn't know how bad it would get and had a long way to go, we kept going. The photo above really doesn't do it justice so we took this one a minute later:

Yep, this was USA extreme driving test part 2. Mountain, tight bends, new car and blizzard! Just to add to the joy, just after that photo was taken a warning light came on in the car...


DIS Veteran
Feb 4, 2006
Right, there I am...stuck at the top of crater lake in a blizzard with a warning light. So, I pull over to check out the book and see what it says about the light. Andy finds the relevant page and declares it's a tyre pressure warning light. So, ok, slightly less panic but still, having a low tyre in these conditions did not fill me with confidence. It does say next to the paragraph in the book that sometimes the light will come on due to a change in weather conditions, particularly cold. So in the back of my mind I'm praying that's all it is as we find our way through the mountain roads and back down the other side of Crater Lake park. We didn't both stopping anywhere on route because we wouldn't have seen anything from the picturesque viewing spots :(

Anyway, about an hour later...having successfully managed to not have a heart attack at the thought of getting a blowout on a bendy, snowy mountain road, we get our of the snow and into the rain. The light is still on in the car but the roads aren't snowy now and there are no cliff edges next to us (or at least they are behind trees and not as steep).

We stop to stretch our legs and take a photo of what is apparently 'Diamond Peak'. As you can see, the weather is not brilliant :(

At this point the warning light is still showing, despite the warmer conditions and the fact that I've turned the car off and on. So we decide that, as soon as possible, we'll get it checked out and get something to eat...

2 HOURS later we find somewhere to do this. To be fair it's probably not so far normally but of course we had roadworks after roadworks and each stop was about 10 minutes of waiting on the mountain roads.

Eventually we find a mcdonalds and a garage. We stop to get some food in the restaurant which apparently is a hangout for retired ladies and veterans, judging by the groups sat around at various tables :)

Then we drove a few metres further down the road to a huge sign that said 'tyres'. I figured that was a good sign ;) so we pulled in. I should say at this point that I am perfectly capable of looking after my own tyres here in the UK but in the USA I didn't have a clue where to even go to find a pump. So we pull in and all these big burly guys stop what they are doing to look over. I leave Andy by the car, put on my best ditzy English blonde tone and ask for help lol. Yep, I played the dumb English tourist...but it worked cause they took pity on me.

They couldn't have been nicer and they pumped up the tyres, checked them and even put a valve on another tyre that was missing one...and all for free. We tried to give them some money but they refused. Nice guys! What was worrying was Andy was watching the car as they pumped it up and it literally rose up in the air. We were about a 1/3 down in pressure apparently. Very worrying that they would give me the car like that, cause I don't think it could have happened in 36 hours. Oh well.

Car happy again we headed off towards the interstate. The weather was improving slowly but we'd given up on Crater Lake by now. Even if it had improved dramatically we were so far beyond it by this point. Instead we figured we'd try and get some disney shopping in, so we headed for the nearest store (couple of hours away) that was on route.


DIS Veteran
Feb 4, 2006
By the time we got onto the interstate the weather was lovely again :erm:

The first store we stopped at was at an outlet mall and yes, we bought lots. We spent some time chatting to the cast there and one of them was due to fly down to Anaheim the same time we were going to be there. She said she'd keep an eye out for us.

As we had reached this point much earlier than expected we decided to go to the other Disney Store that I'd found on route. It was a mall store and we were so glad we went there. Not so much cause I bought a t-shirt and ornament lol but because it was a real step into the past. It has the old pink and blue design still and that's the type of store Andy and I trained in.

They even have an old plush mountain

I resisted the urge to start building it :D

Having shopped we grabbed some food at Applebees (friendly place but the food is a bit spicy for me and Andy wasn't keen on the sportsbar feel) and then went to our hotel. We were staying in the Guest House Motel, Vancouver.


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