Pacific Coast Sierra Cascades Bike Trip Day 44 – Big Climb to Crater Lake

A delightful night with no traffic or party noise. On Hwy 62 at 6:30 heading east for 9 miles towards Prospect where I hoped to eat more breakfast. No luck though. Onward for another 16 miles to Union Creek, pop. 150, through National Forest. In some places, the trees and shrubs were thinned and cleared for about 200 feet from the highway to reduce wildfire risk. Union Creek supposedly had a resort, camping, and a cafe. Yes! At Becky’s Cafe, I got a tasty breakfast sandwich and coffee after a wait in line. Feeling fed and with full water bottles, the grade steepened for 16 miles to the Crater Lake National Park boundary. Ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir predominated early then shifted to lodgepole pine. With more climbing, I reached Mazama Village only to find the shelves almost empty - no chocolate milk. I ate lunch in the shade in front of the store chatting with two moms attempting to find a campsite for their group. A steep, 4-mile climb took me to the rim of Crater Lake. What a sight! Clear air brought out the deep blue of the water. The line to the snack bar extended 100 feet. No chocolate milk. I called Betsy and Mom to check in then rode 6 miles around the rim gaining elevation and stopping at pull offs to gawk (see photo). Then north on the park road for 10 easy miles to the north entrance and Hwy 138. I turned east and rode a mile to side road and quickly found a shaded, level campsite at 5 pm. Mosquitoes immediately greeted me prompting me to set up quickly and get inside my tent. A long, tough day with 5,000 feet of elevation gain over 63 miles of riding.

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