This past weekend we took a quick side trip to Crater Lake National Park for a little camping. The weather was beautiful, the views spectacular and the weekend a perfect success. This was my first camping trip at Crater Lake and we were lucky to snag a reservation at to the popular Mazama campground due to a last minute cancellation. It had been booked solid for months but when I checked on a Wednesday I was able to nab a Friday night slot. There are other campgrounds in the area but Mazama is perfectly located near the park’s main attractions. It is also a very nice campground in general.
My brother is a first rate camp cook so we ate like kings. Food always tastes better outside and after a long day of hiking and chipmunk watching Merlin’s BBQ chicken really hit the spot. His trick to moist, delicious chicken was building a good bed of coals and then keeping a close eye on the meat while it cooked. He also brought a digital thermometer and checked the internal temperature as he went. I think come Christmas we might need to upgrade him to this one.
On Saturday before we headed out to hit the trails he fed us hearty breakfast burritos. I love Merlin’s trick for bringing eggs to the woods: one glass jar with a tight fitting lid which didn’t take up much cooler space. Done and done!
Out of all our adventures the Plaikni Falls Trail was by far my favorite. It winds through a beautiful old growth forest up to a stunning waterfall. The hike is steep at the end but worth it. I live at a modest elevation and have not done a lot of hiking at a high elevation. As my mother says, they are rather stingy with the air up there. But, as you can see, I made it back in one piece and had a blast to boot.
On our way out of the park we hit up the Annie Creek Restaurant. We were all pretty tired and ready for a solid meal after our morning’s adventures at the water fall. Annie’s offers decent food at decent prices. They have a few specialty Oregon items on the menu which I was not enthusiastic about. The basic fare we ordered was nice. Pictured on top is a Cod Sandwich and Cob Salad. On the bottom is a Oregon Omelet and a Cheeseburger. Jonathan hit the salad bar which had a good mushroom soup (not pictured) but nothing else to really recommend. It was a nice sit down restaurant with a comfy ambiance. Bottom line, you can get a straightforward lunch for two at Annie’s for under $30. It won’t be anything to write home about but if you are tired and want a simple meal this will fill you up nicely.
We did tour the Crater Lake Lodge which features an upscale dining room. Jonathan and I plan to return at some point and spend a romantic weekend there. It looked like the perfect place for a fall getaway. All in all our camping weekend was wonderful. Crater Lake is not to be missed!