• GreySwan

Mid-Way Medford and Crater Lake

So, when you are a skater who knows skaters you’re obviously now part of the extended family. It really is the warmest reception and the best local advice you can get for the area you're exploring. And you meet so many cool new people.

Yay, new friends!

After catching up with friends in rainy Portland, we headed 5 hours south. We were greeted by two shiba inus (for those of you who don’t know, these are doges) at the flat!! I’d never met one in person but I can now confirm that the rumours you’ve been hearing are true – they are really just cats disguised as dogs.

This is Khaji, and this was the only time he would stand still enough to be photographed.

We headed to a closed road to skate, and skate we did. I borrowed Carmen’s board just to try it out and see what I wanted in my next board. The board itself was a dropped platform, with a wheelbase with 23 – 26 and a tail too! Yum.

Isn't it beautiful? Thanks for the new (old) board Carmen, I will shred it with pride.

The thing about being this far north is that the sun sets much later than LA, so it was almost 8pm when we headed off. We ended up at a burgers & sandwich place where a range of Stout (amongst others) beer were served!

Medford is apparently the place to go for dark beers! I made the discovery that Carmen, was too a Stout drinker.

Yay! Beers with the beautiful Carmen.

Later that night, we watched Avatar and yelled a lot. I also created an avatar drinking game for the other fans who were to drink (sorry non-avatar fans) with the following rules:

  • Tenzin lectured

  • Mako was expressionless

  • Korra interrupts a meeting or conversation

  • Someone from our group asked a question about Avatar.

The rules were ignored because everyone just drank. Nice.

We had a rather late night and finally headed to bed (or couch, heh) at 4am. I awoke the next morning (noon rather) to Ryan, a housemate of the Skate Estate setting down a plate of avocado salad in front of us. AVOCADO SALAD IN A SKATE HOUSE? I THINK WE MIGHT HAVE BEEN IN HEAVEN. He came back shortly with a platter of mushroom omelette and buttered toast. And then he came back with some sliced mango.

Talk about silver service in a skate house.

The eggs were cooked to perfection, the avocado salad had a perfect ratio of avocado to baby spinach to dressing. Such a great start to the day.

Alicia and Carmen came around early so we could go to a hill to skate. We set out, driving for approximately 1 hour in the wet. But when we got to the hill it was completely dry. Bone dry in fact, with cloud cover – perfect skating weather. Because the weather was a bit iffy for the next few days, we weren't able to explore much of the surrounding region, apart from some neighbourhood runs and thrift shops. There was also a lot of eating. Cheesecake, burgers, you name it.

My first encounter with biscuits and gravy! Super 'merican.

So on our final day we bade farewell to one of the wonderful tenants of the skatehouse, and headed to Crater Lake, back towards Portland. Thank you skatehouse for not minding too much when our dog Pepper decided to poop twice in the house. You are the real heroes.

We drove up the highway to Crater Lake. We had heard from the locals that it was definitely driveable, despite the snow - we had received word from a friend a month earlier that the area was under 12 feet/4 metres of snow.

Snow was spotted very early into our drive.

Here we have Ling walking barefoot and in shorts in snow. A true hardcore Kiwi.

It began raining, and slowly progressed to snow. So. Much. Excite.

Note the height of the snow vs the height of the road signage.

This was the entrance, and the snow banks got progressively higher! The road was lined with cinders, the river was filled with snow-melt, paralleling the highway. The higher we got, the icier and more snow laden the trees were.

We drove slowly past the entrance of the park (where they collect tolls) and that was almost obscured by the high snow banks that were 3-6m/9-18ft tall. Unlike other national parks, this one was relatively small. We reached the Visitor's Centre in no time (going about 50km/h). Lo and behold, the Visitor's Centre sold postcards and conveniently had a post office! So I sent a postcard to the significant other and the parentals. Apparently a postcard only takes 2 days to reach Switzerland! Cool beans.

I wonder who clears the snow....

We drove on to Crater Lake, and the snow kept coming. We drove past the café, into the parking lot, and parked. We hiked a short way up the deep snow banks and there it was, Crater Lake. The low visibility soon cleared up due to the strong winds. Absolutely gorgeous.

The island in the middle is called Wizard Island, which is actually made of cinder cones. Kudos to whomever named the island.

Icicles on the rope barriers. I think I ran out of superlatives on this trip.

Ling (on the left), despite the chill and icy winds, is still in shorts. Go Ling!

Finished by having a hot coffee & hot dog with cheese. I found out the cheese was from a can. Cheese from a can.

Why USA, why.

And on that slightly lower note, with that we were off – back to Portland for a day, and on the road again to Goldendale, Washington to skate the famed Maryhill Loops!! For everyone who is unfamiliar with the downhill longboarding scene, the hill is closed off to traffic, attendees get rides up to the top of the hill to skate, and there is an ambulance at the bottom of the run to ensure the event runs smoothly and is fun and safe for all. For information about this event check out the Facebook page of the organising crew here!

#CraterLake #Medford #NorthAmerica #Friends #Biscuits #Travel

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