Sept. 18-19: pristine Crater Lake — and a big decision

IMG_1147Harry and I braved the coldest night so far: it was 32F (0C) when we woke up at 7AM on September 18, and la bestia was covered in white frost.

IMG_1151I had trouble opening her doors as all handles were frozen. Still, la bestia looks gorgeous in all states of aggregation (although I would prefer never seeing her vaporized).

IMG_1155Holding out for a day paid off — the view of Crater Lake was stunning.

IMG_1156Thanks 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.

IMG_1153On days like these, with views like these, I feel almost overwhelmed by gratitude for being able to go on this trip.

IMG_1154My camera’s wide angle wasn’t wide enough to capture the entire crater; this photo shows approximately two thirds of it.

IMG_1157The 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!

Sept. 18-19As 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.

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8 thoughts on “Sept. 18-19: pristine Crater Lake — and a big decision

  1. Daniel, I adore the idea and am enjoying reading your impressions! And of course, I envy you:)))
    Fingers crossed for nothing but beautiful weather and excellent photos! Kisses from Bilbao, Nina

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  2. Hi Daniel,

    Noted the change of plan, which makes sense. How are you planning to negotiate Panama and the North of Colombia, which I gather are pretty iffy? I seem to remember a motorcyclist we met took a ferry, I think from either Barranquilla or Cartagena (he was doing your trip, northward).

    I always heard from my aunt that Crater Lake is stunning. Now I believe her 🙂

    David

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    • Hi David! Panama should be alright; I’ll have to cross the Darien Gap from there, which is easier logistically and has been done by thousands of travelers before me. Northern Colombia — well, I don’t know yet, and any advice you can offer is much appreciated (as always!).

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  3. Daniel, glad you are enjoying the beautiful views so much, as is Harry I’m sure. Enjoying reading your blog too, and wishing you interesting adventures as you forge on into Mexico and beyond. I do regret that you didn’t have good views on the Canadian Icefield Parkway which we just returned from after 5 days hiking… along with those tatty Canadians you met in PG and other places a bit of a disappointment for you. Thanks so much for stopping by for a visit with us!

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    • Thanks so much, Carol and Rod! I keep only good memories of Canada, of which I have plenty — the time spent with you included, of course! Keep stopping by (virtually), please!

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  4. Hallo ,lieber Daniel ,
    lange habe ich mich nicht bei Dir gemeldet . Aber ich schaue jeden Tag , wie weit Du schon auf Deinem Trip nach S-Amerika gekommen bist . Schade , daß Du keine Fähre bekommen hast!
    Paß` bitte weiterhin gut auf Dich und Deinen Kumpel Harry auf
    Christiane

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  5. Das mache ich ganz bestimmt, Christiane! Ja, die Verschiffung (im Container — Faehren gibt es keine auf diesen langen Strecken) waere viel zu teuer gewesen und haette fast einen Monat gedauert. Da fahre ich lieber weiter!

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