We got up early, checked the air quality index in Crater Lake (49) then roused the children and drove down. That took about two hours. By the time we reached Crater Lake, the index was rising, the smell of burning was noticeable if you didn’t wear a mask, and there was a fogginess to all the mountains. So we missed out on the crystal clear views everyone got yesterday, which was a shame.
We found a charger for the car at the southern end of the crater, and got about 50 miles added on (range was looking a little precarious before that, despite starting from a full charge), and went for a short hike – nothing like Smith Rock yesterday. Then lunch at Annie’s, a restaurant / gift shop by the car park, and a saddened drive backs round the crater, in the forlorn hope that the air was going to clear a bit.
Driving back, about twenty miles from Bend we saw a sign for the Lava River Forest, but we turned off one junction too soon, and ended up driving along a dirt track for five miles before giving up. The car was epically filthy by then, so we went to the Flying Frog carwash and I spent a pleasurable ten minutes cleaning off all the dirt and waxing the car. Now it looks shiny and new again, and we can see out of the windows once more.
With the car getting low on charge again (down to about 50 miles) we left it at the same fast charger as yesterday, then fed the kids at the Bend Brewing Company, before driving to check out a boardgame shop and buy an overcomplicated game about cats to play with the girls.
Then before we knew it, it was bedtime. Cue yells of rage from Destroyer, two more chapters of Going Solo, and then the girls were asleep in a few moments. Maybe we are managing to tire them out successfully…