Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Days 15 and 16—Oregon Caves, Craters and Doughnut Holes

On our first morning in Oregon we headed up to the Oregon Caves National Monument. Our tour guide was this Boston-accented, goofy guy who seemed to really enjoy his job. He kept asking quiz questions, which my husband kept getting right, much to his amusement.
Apparently, the cave was discovered by a guy who noticed it when he thought he saw his dog chase a bear into it. He went in to explore, even though, according to our guide, he only had six matches.  ¨Would you go into a cave with six matches?¨, our guide asked. ¨Well, three to go in and three to go out¨, said my wise husband. Apparently, Elijah Davidson was not so wise, and explored until his matches ran out. He survived by following the sound of water to the entrance, spending 3 hours in the cave. He found his dog outside.

The hike through the caves is actually moderately strenuous, with lots of stairs, including some extra stairs to see this view.
 After the tour was over, we discovered that I am an unphotographable vampire of the Twillight-Sparkling variety. Apparently, the Pacific Northwest is not as cloudy as advertised (we seem to have seen two straight sunny days in Oregon).
 There were many Stellar´s Jays in the woods around the parking lot. These were also fairly common in Yosemite.
We headed on to Crater Lake, which is 1,949 feet (594 m) deep and above 7,000 ft in elevation, which accounts for the amazing amount of snow still there in May.
 There is so much snow there, it covers this door, which I thought was an outhouse...
 ...but it turns out is really the entrance to a tunnel under the snow... a heated washroom behind the snowbank.
 Afterwards, we climbed up on top of the visitor center and slid down it.
 After stopping in Eugene for the night we drove into Portland. Weirdly enough, it was sunny all day. 
 We did a little shopping and then tried to get some Voodoo Doughnuts, only to discover their main downtown location is under renovation.
 We made our way to the second store which lies at 1501 N.E. Davis Street, and has much easier parking anyway. We bought way too many doughnuts, and then brought them over to share with my husband´s very lovely cousin and her family. The second box ended up coming to Washington with us, and was eaten day+ old, but still yummy and crazy looking.
 We had dinner with family and then did exactly the wrong thing on the only sunny Portland day in recent memory and went to see ¨Source Code¨ in an almost empty theatre. After a very sugary breakfast, we were off to Washington.

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