I was eager to get into Oregon and make it to my first destination, Crater Lake. Just as I imagined, it was absolutely incredible! To start off the day, I did a beautiful hike up to the peak of Mount Scott. The trail was great but the views were even better. The peak of Mount Scott is the highest point in Crater Lake, which sits at about 8,900 feet in elevation. The peak offers an amazing view of the lake and a 360 degree view of the surrounding area; definitely worth the steep 5-mile hike.
After the hike I headed down to the water to cool off. The hike down is even steeper and full of switchbacks, although rewarding once you reach the bottom. I heard there was a jumping cliff, so you know I had to check it out! I hung out for a while, met some cool people who were also traveling. We had a blast jumping in and swimming in the lake. It was nice to cool off from the heat and hiking, but the water was FREEZING! Definitely the coldest water I had been in on this trip. It felt wonderful. Next stop: Bend!
As with Crater Lake, I was super pumped to get to Bend. I had heard so many great things about the town. I was able to stay with my buddy John for a few days. We had a great time catching up and exploring Bend. The first day I was there we floated down the Deschutes River on inner tubes. The river has a mellow, but super fun man made rapid that you can float down. The following day we headed out to Smith Rock to do some hiking and exploring. We hiked on a trail called Misery Ridge and got to check out Monkey Face, a cool rock with an awesome rock climbing route, which my friend Graham did a week before.
The following day John and I went for a killer mountain bike ride just outside of town. The trail followed alongside Deschutes river. The river was beautiful and littered with waterfalls. It was an awesome ride! I really enjoyed being in Bend, it even exceeded my expectations! I had a blast hanging out with John, his girlfriend and exploring such a cool town.
With September approaching, being set back from my injury and wanting to spend a good amount of time in B.C., my time in Portland was cut a bit short. I only spent one day exploring Portland, but what I saw, I really liked. Lots of cool restaurants, markets and parks. I was able to land a couchsurfing gig with a connection from John’s girlfriend Karah’s dad. It ended up being the best couch surfing experience I could have imagined. I had my own room, a homecooked meal, and breakfast and coffee ready in the morning. It couldn’t have been better! I met a couple other guys who were also traveling around and we had a good time sharing our travel stories. The next morning I got up early and headed toward Seattle, but went out to the Columbia River Gorge first. The gorge is beautiful with Hood River running through it. There are numerous waterfalls to stop at along the way. I found one in particular that was at least 200 feet tall with neon green moss on the flat rock face; It was fascinating and beautiful.