First Encounter with Snow – Crater Lake

We had a three day weekend in US due to the Memorial Day holiday on Monday. And Tuesday I was supposed to fly to Mexico early morning. Since Wednesday, my manager (Indian Manager, who travelled with me) and my other Colleague who was in US for past 2 months, started the discussions on where to go for the weekend and everytime it got started, it ended up with no conclusion. There was another girl who had come from India on her first visit to US who wanted to join us for a trip. And till Friday afternoon we hadn’t decided on anything because there were plans for Grand Canyon and was dropped because we didnt get any hotels and a road trip would take most of the time. So this girl got an offer from one of her seniors there for a Rafting trip and we let her go ,as we werent sure of our plans till Friday 6 pm :). Then when our work was done by 7, we finally zeroed in on Crater Lake (as per my suggestio :D) and voila! we booked 2 rooms in Klamath falls (Cimarron Hotels which came around to 50+$) and decided to start @ night after watching the movie Kung Fu Panda 2 (3D). Went for dinner, watched the movie, got a jacket (coz it was freezing cold) and came back to hotel, grabbed the necessities and started in my manager’s car which was a Sedan with sun roofs (!!!)

I started driving first, because I didnt feel tired after all this. This was the most worst planned trip I ever had among all my trips in US. If you had read my previous trips, you would know that I planned them well ahead and had a detailed itinerary on where we would be and what we would do. This time, we werent even sure what we were going to do after reaching there. After almost 1.5 hrs of driving, tiredness started creeping in and the other guy took over. He was driving so fast…. And then we stopped @ around 3.30 or so for some food and then my manager took over for the rest of the trip.

It was almost 7.5 hrs to Klamath Falls in Oregon and we called up the Hotel for the confirmation on the rooms and enjoyed the scenery out there. We could see snow filled mountains and stretches of valley and then we would be riding on a mountain and then down a valley.. Dont know how many of the we had crossed. It was awesome, as long as I dont drive it. I was getting so panicky to drive in mountains. We were wondering if we were going towards those snow mountains. Seems like we were. Finally at around 8 or so we reached Klamath Falls.. It is a beautiful place and it was so so so so cold out there. I was literally shivering due to the chillness…. thanks to my manager that I got a jacket, without which I would have frozen to death.

At around 8 or 8.30 am we reached the hotel @ Klamath Falls and rushed to get ourselves refreshed. The rooms were very good for the price. I got ready in 0.5 hrs and got out to click some photos. It was toooooo coooollllldddddd.. But I did manage to click some good photos. It was a pretty calm place out there with very less traffic and snow peaked mountains around and clean empty roads.

Since I was waiting for them to get ready, I ventured out in the open the 2nd time. But to my big surprise, I saw some white flakes falling. First I thought it was from the tree near by which had this white flowers. But it didnt seem so because of way it didnt stay on the ground. I was wondering if it was the snow just in case , when they both emerged from the room and as soon as they saw it, it was confirmed that it was Snow… Wow.. so this is how snow fall happens. Awesome. just Awesome… Now we were pepped up to drive..and we went for a quick snack and then started our drive. This time I drove, because both of them were exhausted and wanted to just relax for a while. While on the way we crossed the Klamath Lake.. It was so huge.. and wonderful.. we have this road going along the lake in its perimeter. It was such a good drive. Only sad thing is that both of them were so engrossed in the movie and their relaxation that they didnt take a picture of it. Thats ok.. Its almost a one hour drive and after almost 45 mins or so, the other guy took over and I got to relax. And after some time, I felt grateful that they took over the drive. We had just entered the North border entrance of the Crater Lake National Park. The GPS showed us only till that place and then there was no mobile network. We kept on going hoping to see someone and we saw a car from the other side with snow all over.. This got us excited

After a few minutes drive, we were passing by a white patch on both sides of the road.. We werent sure if that was really a snow because it was so hardened. So we decided to stop and do a check. This was the snow which had been there for some time and it had become ice (or whatever you call it that happens to the fresh snow after its there for long) and we could see that the deep gorges there had traces of it too.. We started playing like Kids… I never know that men would behave like kids at any point of time in their life. These both started playing with the snow, hitting each other with snow and I was slowly trying to get my feet in the snow. I didnt have my shoes..just the 300Rs bata slippers on. As soon as I entered the snow, my feet got so numb, that I couldnt feel a thing.. I tried to play around a little bit.. but I am more of the enjoying type rather than the playing type. I really enjoyed the way they played.. It was fun, atleast after all those hours of work. I tried my luck by hitting them but always missed, because my hands and feet were losing their senses. We took a few photos and then I started back to the car to make my feet a little warm. Even they were getting a little concerned that I couldnt walk well.. My feet were stiff.. Then slowly I got into the car and then turned on the heater and since they were waiting outside, I put my feet up to the blower and in a few minutes I was ok… They too were getting cold and then decided to carry on and enjoy more if it. The more we went the more snow (fresh snow) we saw.. There were paths which were closed because of the snow. Oh it was so awesome and fun.. We were so excited. We also wondered if we lost our path. Thankfully there was a sign about a radio station to tune in for updates. We tuned in and they told that we cannot go round the rim because of the snow, but can go till Rims Village to see the lake. Thankfully after some more drive, we saw the entrance to the Park.

Its a 10$ entrance fees and they gave us a Map and the route to go and we started off. We took a wrong turn and we ended up going in a loop 😀 .The guy who was driving (my colleague) was having so much fun. He used to drive on the snow making marks. We then somehow made him come out of it and continued. There was places where we stopped for the beautiful views and played on the snow. Oh boy ! Oh boy ! It is a wonderful experience. It was great.. I always wanted to see snow and here I am playing with it with just my slippers on. Oh man!! Nothing beats this experience.. 😀

We later found out that this was the Discovery Point of the park. We then drove down and saw the Rims Village. The Cafe there was covered with snow and a little later we could see a big heap of snow. That was the view point for the lake. We parked the car and then went straight into the Cafe, got a socks for myself (I dont want to get frost bites or get sick because of the chill and I have to enjoy more of snow) and they got a tray like thing for snow gliding thing. We refreshed ourselves and then started walking towards the rim. Its just beautiful and Magnificient. How come there can be such beautiful places on earth !!! I felt so lucky to see them .. really.. I realized how much I love travelling and seeing new places, learning new languages.. It was very very very divine to see that.. We met a few people who were from New York and other places and shared their happiness to be in such a beautiful place. Those people are so social and genuine.. I liked them for that character.

Well again we played there for sometime, tried going to each side and then took lots of snaps and since it was getting colder we decided to see the Discovery point (without knowing that we have already seen it). We again went in the wrong direction , went on in loops around the Rims village where it was closed to go through the rim due to heavy snow and came back to Rims village and these guys went up to do the snow gliding :D. I obviously didnt try that without my shoes and after 10-15 mins..came down panting and tired. They were exhausted a lot. They obviously have been having their best time in snow. After some more time playing around there, we started back at around 4 or so I guess.

While on our way back we thought we will cover the Fort Klamath and tried looking around for it and ended up seeing a stone planted on behalf of the place which was founded. Then later came back on our way to the hotel again passing the Klamath Lake , but this time there was no place where we could park and take photos. So missed again. We tried to go to Walmart for the other guy to get his Camera..but he slept off while driving back and so we came back to hotel. It started snowing again and heavy cold winds started coming. Thank God we came back on time.

After sometime, decided to go to Walmart and found it very near to the hotel and my manager ended up buying a laptop and a printer (all in one) :D. We came back to hotel again , tested the printer and were happy with the result. We decided that the next day we will go rafting in white waters somewhere. I went and got some details from the reception and then we went to the dollar tree store opposite to the hotel to get ourselves some ponchos and some plastic wraps for my feet just incase I end up with cold water the next day.

We went back …checked on the ones that we had listed and then called up the HellGate Excursions (this was recommended by the receptionist) and found that they had a 5 hr white water jet board adventure drive for 62$ with an hour break in between for lunch (lunch not inclusive in the fees). We zeroed in on that and booked it and then I went to sleep by 8 pm. Had a apple for my dinner and slept off well for my next days adventure.

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