Woke up this morning to gray, cloudy skies and a light rain that lasted all day! And I do mean all day, it never stopped for over 12 hours. We moved the 5'er from the Wal-mart parking lot to a KOA nearby. After dry camping for the past two nights, it is nice to have full services again. And even though we filled the fresh water tank before leaving Ely Wednesday morning, we had less than 1/4 of a tank left. We have been having trouble with the trailer's electric cord for the past two days, so Larry was anxious to find an RV parts house. We lucked out and found one within a block of the KOA. While there, he spoke to the parts salesman about Crater Lake, and even though it was still raining, we were encouraged to go ahead and make the 60 mile drive. He told Larry that the view changes dramatically with the weather conditions, but is always beautiful.
Wow, was he right! The entire drive was so pretty. Rainy conditions always intensify colors, and of course, it smells wonderful as well. There were occasional patches of heavy fog and many low clouds, so our view of the actual lake was poor. But the 33 mile drive around the rim was wonderful. The North side of the lake was under heavy cloud cover, but the South side was a bit better. There are over 30 pull-outs available for viewing but we stopped at only a few today. There were quite a few rockslides, mostly small ones, but since there was VERY little traffic today, we dodged them quite easily.
Over 500,000 visitors arrive at Crater Lake National Park annually. The park is open all year, but due to snow conditions, much of the year the park's North Entrance road and the Rim Drive are closed to cars. They close with the first significant snowfall and normally reopen in June. The annual snowfall is over 44 feet. So a very small window of opportunity but one I highly recommend. It was 40 degrees late this afternoon, and with the temperature going well below freezing tonight, they may get their first snow. There is a 70% chance of rain tomorrow but the sun is expected to be out and shining brightly on Sunday, so we plan to make one final attempt to view this beautiful lake. Either way, it will be time to move on. If you have any pull with the weatherman, please help us out, okay?