Thanks to Wikipedia, I now know that Crater Lake is “the deepest lake in the United States, the second deepest in North America and the ninth deepest in the world.” In addition, it may well be the most beautiful lake in the United States.
The temperature rose from 32F (0C) to 75F (24C) in less than four hours. Just before leaving the park, I had a longer conversation with a group of three seniors. Hailing from Wisconsin, Texas and Thailand, respectively, Ron, Carl and Priya were celebrating fortieth anniversaries with their partners. Ron took this picture while Carl and Priya were praising my “sexy red jacket” and “cute hat.” I dug out some of my very rudimentary Thai and learned that they had been all over the world together. Truly delightful company!
As Harry and I were driving from Medford, OR–where I obtained an International Driver’s License as well as an Inter-American Driving Permit at the local AAA branch–to our campground in Valley of the Rogue State Park, I realized that a major change in direction–quite literally–was in order.
None of the five (out of eight) shipping companies that had actually responded to my e-mailed requests for quotes had been able to produce a compelling offer. While one wanted over $5,000 for the container, another tried to convince me that neither Ecuador nor Colombia would allow a temporary import of a vehicle for tourism (which I know to be false). The third company could only offer shipping to Colombia’s Caribbean coast, which would cancel out any time gained through circumventing Central America, as I has planned initially. The fourth agency withdrew its offer after realizing that its shipping route had recently changed and instead offered a route out of Los Angeles where customs inspection–which the consignee, i.e. me, needs to pay for–would have been almost guaranteed, which would have delayed the container by at least one week. The fifth agent was very helpful but worked out that the shortest route they were able to suggest would take 18 days, plus an additional eight days for on- and offloading, meaning that I would be without la bestia–and hence without a “home”–for almost a month.
So [drum roll]… we’ll drive it. Crossing into Mexico from San Diego, we are going to go to La Paz in Baja California and take the ferry to Mazatlán. From there to Mexico City via Jalisco to avoid the troubled States of Michoacán and Guerrero, and then on to Guatemala via Oaxaca. I am excited to see friends in Mexico, San Salvador and Costa Rica and look forwarding to making new friends on the way. I believe Harry is thrilled, too.