One of the most delightful things about not making firm reservations is our ability to change plans at the drop of a hat. We left the Columbia River area and drove down to Bend, Oregon so we could take a quick day trip to see Crater Lake. The weather was beginning to turn cold, and snow was threatening. So we just took a chance and headed down for one of the last days the park would be open.

And WOW! did we find luxurious accommodations in Bend. We camped for two nights at Crown Villa RV Resort (  which is almost too nice for us. I can’t see why I should waste your time describing the place…just click the link and make a reservation if this is your kind of camping.  It’s amazing. I was able to catch up on laundry, and we thoroughly enjoyed seeing so many Airstreams parked in our neighborhood.

The next morning we loaded up the pups and drove the truck over perfectly clear roads to Crater Lake. When we arrived, the road around the west rim was closed and barricaded due to a heavy snow.

We climbed up over a snow drift hoping to at least see a peek of the lake, and (I’m not kidding) I got tears in my eyes when I saw my first glimpse of that blue water. We had NO IDEA the lake would be right there in front of us. And we couldn’t have dreamed the color of blue…it’s breathtaking. We are so glad we took this spur of the moment detour from our original plans.

Our first glimpse of the spectacular beauty of Crater Lake

Although we were unsure if the road would be open, we climbed back in the truck and took the east rim road clear around the lake to the Lodge and Visitor Center. The road was open, and the trees were covered in the most beautiful snow, with a bright blue sky to cheer us on. It was truly an experience, slowly making our way around the lake, stopping often to snap pictures, and hoping to make it without any mishaps.

We had lunch in the lodge and climbed around the snowdrifts trying to capture some unique photos. I hope you enjoy them:

Oregon along the Columbia River
The Spectacular Oregon Coast
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