[Author’s Note:] When you first learn how to use a computer, you’re taught, “Don’t forget to save your work.” That remains good advice and ignoring it tonight led me to lose more than an hour of work on tonight’s blog entry. I did learn (re-learn for the 20th time) a valuable lesson. I’m now saving my blog entries as I write them.

Since it’s late here and I need some sleep, tonight’s update will be mostly pictures with some brief comments and captions. More of a travelogue than a column.

We took a long detour away from the Oregon coast to see Crater Lake National Park. We were astonished by the amount of snow still at the visitors’ center, given it’s June 21st, but they had a record year for snowfall.

Once inside, we were disappointed to see that the lake is much, much smaller than we’d anticipated. In fact, it was Barbie-sized:

At the visitors’ center, they told us that only the road to Crater Lake Lodge (a hotel built in 1915) and one mile of the road around the crater were open. This is the lodge, which experienced 612 inches of snow this past winter and there’s a bunch of it left.

On the back deck, you can rest in one of 50 rocking chairs and enjoy this view:

We left to ride the one mile of road we’d been told was open and within a few miles ran into construction traffic:

Much to our delight, just as we arrived, the construction crews opened a large section of the road! We were able to ride around about a third of the crater. After traversing a rough, muddy and rocky temporary road surfaces for a couple of miles, we reached a vista point and mugged for a shot of us wth our bikes in front of the wall of snow lining the road:

The effort was worth it to get shots like this: None of the shots of the lake have been edited in any way.

Of course, in this part of the country, you can look directly away from the lake and see plenty of gorgeous scenery:

It was extremely cold in the Park, of course, so we then cruised to the Ranger-recommended Beckie’s Restaurant in tiny Union Creek for a delicious lunch.

Our bikes needed some nourishment too, of course, and there aren’t many choices in these parts, so we wound up stopping at this throwback service station:

We rode for a few hours in mid-90’s temps and spent most of the day with no cell phone coverage. But eventually, we made it back to the coast, the temperature dropped to 60 degrees and we rode the 101 north to the town of Florence, maintaining the faux-Italian theme we noted in Fortuna as well.  We found another great Best Western — this one with a nice view and a decent restaurant.

I walked a bit to capture this view of Florence and its historical bridge (so says the sign).

Walking back to the hotel, I came across Doc — a very nice gentleman who is walking the ORegon Trail. By himself. He said after years of working in offices and raising kids, he wanted to “just walk,” so he’s walking. He was kind enough to let me take his picture and I gave him my blog address. So Doc, if you’re reading this, thanks for the chat and I hope the walking is everything you wanted and needed.

I will hopefully have more to say tomorrow. We’re riding north for another 50 miles of coastline and then turning east to catch the Columbia River road before heading towards home. Yes, we are at that point in the trip when we need to plan with our destination in mind. Hard to believe we have only four more days of riding. I hope they all are as easy, fun and interesting as the days we’ve enjoyed so far.

Goodnight from Clive, Dale and me.