Took dogs on 3 mile walk along Annie Creek Canyon Trail (she gets a creek named after her just for being the first woman of European descent to visit) by Mazama Campground. Amazing fun walk. Adrenalin gets pumping since the mountain walls are steep and the trail is narrow. I had to watch JP closely since he doesn’t fear heights. He doesn’t understand falling. He hears the rushing water of creek and he wants to take the direct path, straight down the mountain. The path winds back and forth until you reach the mossy creek bed. Small meadow patches are randomly lit with sunlight through the tall pines. How mighty these trees, standing on these steep grades which you or I would not be able to. Walking along the creek side I got a feeling we’d see a bear. Dogs were acting strangely, so I “listened deeper” for rustles and detectable noises. I scanned continuously for movement. Right there not 20 feet ahead on the path were 2 young deer, still with spots. Both frozen, staring at us. Tried grabbing camera but my arm movement flushed them out and in a flash they were gone into bushes.
Later in the evening a presentation was made by National Park Ranger. He had a pleasant demeaner speaking about how Crater Lake came to be a national park. The importance of photographers to convey the parks beauty since traveling in was difficult in the thirties. It was hard to pay attention because the Stars were like diamonds against deep indigo outer space and there was a cozy campfire flickering. About 20 campers attended the amphitheater, which could seat at least 100. At the end it got more interesting when an old guy stood up and said: You guys are doing a terrible job managing the forests. The trees are dying and on fire. Old cranky guy unleashed harsh condemnation on the National Park Service. Ranger suggested dying trees are caused by non-native beetles and the budget they have to work with is not enough. Ranger became a bit miffed but invited ranting man to stay and talk. I wondered how I’d find my way back without a flashlight through the pitch black. I followed about 20 yards behind a couple who had a light and seemed to be going same direction. Made it back with their help, so I thanked them. Morning was freezing cold. It was still dark when JP rustled collar. He shakes his collar vigorously. That’s his business signal to me; "seriously dude, let me outside".
Packed up, put air in tires, hit the road. Made good time to Bend without stopping.
Rolled along Highway 20 east to Burns and found an RV camp. RV camps are everywhere!!! Summers near over so always camp space. Not even bothering with reservations. Wi-fi service so hit or miss. Undependable. Downright flaky. Tomorrow my goal is Boise.