For Memorial Day this year, instead of heading to The Gorge for Sasquatch as we have previously, we decided to head to Crater Lake and backpack along part of the PCT. This way we were able to avoid the crowds (there was still plenty of snow) and make it up to the caldera for one of the most incredibly picturesque lunches we have ever experienced.
Our trip started out with a late departure time and driving through the night to Eugene, OR. We grabbed a cheap motel and caught a few hours of sleep before heading east to Crater Lake. The closer we got, the more incredible the scenery became. We had to stop at the ranger station for our permits and to select our campsite, where we caught a glimpse of the caldera. We then headed to the trailhead...which we couldn't find anywhere! We decided that between our one compass and the trail map, we'd probably be able to find our way. Turns out this involved a lot of bushwhacking and a lot of reassuring each other that we knew what we were doing. We ended up finally connecting with the trail about 500 yards from our campsite. Phew!
Our second day we hiked up to the caldera, which again involved a lot of guesswork since most of the trail was still snow covered. This resulted in a few snowball fights, a couple of post holes, and lots of laughs. We hiked out Monday morning on the trail, which took about 1/4 the time it took to get into our site, and embarked on about a ten hour drive back to Seattle. What a way to end this trip.