My awe has been well and truly inspired

Trip Start Jun 02, 2013
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Trip End Aug 30, 2013


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Flag of United States  , Oregon
Monday, July 8, 2013

I have been recommended by so many people to visit Crater Lake.

When that happens there is a risk that the end result can be a disappointment.

Fortunately this was not the case.

It is breathtaking. Whilst it is a major tourist destination, it is so big that the road around the rim and its viewpoints are pretty much deserted.

It changes from every angle and with the sun being mostly overhead during the day, I have decided to stay the night in the Lodge to get a view at sunset.. The lodge is constantly fully booked. When I went in and asked if they had a room they looked at me like I was from another planet (to most people over here I am, Planet England). However they said that they have one room which is a management staff room and it might be available at 2pm but I have to wait in reception for an hour to find out. In that hour maybe 30 people come in and booked for 12 months or more ahead.

  Astonishing.

They explain that I have to view the room and approve it at 1:55pm because it is near the kitchen and there is a buzz from the extractor fans in the evening.

I ask if the extractor fan is powered with a V8 engine because most of the air con units in the motels we have been in are V8 powered. The joke missed the mark by about the width of the Atlantic.

Anyway, I'm in.

This is an amazing spot and somewhere people come to from all over the US. 
 
Because of that there are a lot of pale people on their 2 week vacation. I am getting a bit of a tan (not an all over one like Lali but good for me) and it is nice to see people more pale then I.

Found a path this afternoon that headed off around the peak of the rim. No one was on it and it got increasingly steep. Fortunatley being school time the only other people here than young families are the retired. Neither group seemed to want to take a difficult hike, so I was on my own.

I was pleased to see on my return that it is marked on the Crater map as strenuous.

Mercans love telling a tall tale to enhance the history. "The Old Man of The Lake" is a tree that fell in the lake 125 years ago and bobs around travelling "about 4 miles a day" according to legend. Everyone is talking about it and trying to photograph it. Call me an old cynic but no tree would survive that long in water. I reckon, winter comes and they lop one down and when no one is looking they lob it in to the lake for the gullible tourists.

Informality in the US. This place has a years waiting list and the prices in the restaurant made my eyes water, but in the Great Hall, it is shorts and tee shirts and hats (didn't anyone tell the Mercans about wearing hats indoors) and there is a lady sitting opposite me with shoes off and her feet facing me on the table. It isn't considered rude, it is the norm. I find it hard to get used to. Like clearing each persons food plate away as each one finishes whilst everyone else is still eating, isn't rude it is just the norm.

Having said all that, I am going to dinner in shorts and trainers, but this time I will skip the posh after shave and bath in Deet. I am covered in Skeeter bites. What on earth were Skeeters put on this earth for? They are in the same category as Morris Dancing (if you're Mercan, Google it) if they disappeared completely would anyone miss them?

 

PS
Just watched a guy go in for $150 dinner in camo shorts and a heavy metal studded tee shirt with some pretty offensive words on the back. "Welcome sir, please may I help you to your table. Would sir like the chicken grilled or shall I just walk it to your table?"

PPS
just returned from dinner.

Three minutes after the Mussells arrived the main course was delivered and whilst I was still eating, he took the mussels away. I think it was an automatic reaction rather than actually looking and using common sense. He was 10 feet from my table before I was able to convince him that eating a plate of moules in three minutes is both impossible and a waste of good Mussells. And they were very good.

After the main course. "Would sir like anything else?" "An expresso would be perfect thanks" "no sorry we don't serve coffee"

These places need to work out what they are. You can't charge fine dining prices and give McDonalds service. Although to be fair I have waited longer in Maccy D's than I did tonight.

it isn't rudeness or inability, I genuinely think that Mercans have so little time that dinner is something to fitted in between other things and to be done with as soon as possible. No matter what the event or the cost of the food. In, eat, out.

 
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