i am an unrequited astronomer, pretend patient, gentle adventurer, pedal enthusiast, recovering calligrapher, occasional thespian and unfinished poet living in portland, oregon. contacting me via email is usually a good idea.
11:59 PM: tiny brompton conquers crater lake
when i learned crater lake was opening up rim road only for hikers and bikers for the first time ever, i looked at the forecast, rearranged my plans, woke up at 5 a.m., packed a bunch of food and sunscreen, and drove 4.5 hours to try it with my brompton.
i've only visited crater lake twice before, both on the way back from burning man, and only long enough to feel the cool air and take a photo. exploring it via bicycle was a completely different and extraordinary adventure.
i knew it was going to be hard. i've never been good with hills. but this opportunity was too good to pass up, and i'm so glad i did. i would never in a million year ride a bike on that road with cars. but crater lake is ridiculously, over-the-top gorgeous when allowed to explore at a leisurely pace. without feeling rushed by other traffic or enclosed in a car, i could really enjoy all the details: the color of the water and sky, the landscape shaped by volcanic force and flow, the smell of pines warming in the sun, birds and chipmunks and tiny lizards, the snowy fields, the stupendous silence. i even saw a cirrus "fire rainbow" that looked something like this.
though i fantasize about taking a longer bike tour, my experience at crater lake has convinced me i am not nearly ready for mountainous bike travel. i covered 15 miles and a 2-mile walk down to the dock and back up in 7 hours. that's with plenty of stops -- though not for long, because I did not think to bring bug repellant and my legs are now covered with mosquito welts. for the last 3 miles I was playing mileage games with myself as i climbed out of the crater and ultimately resorted to alternating between walking and biking. i think the limited oxygen at over 7000 feet has something to do with it, but at this point i am much more suited to flat exploration. maybe someday!