Crater Lake

I first came here in 1999 while in Oregon during a semester away my junior year. I fell in love with the color and the views and the overwhelming feeling of calm that washed over me there. I couldn’t wait to bring the girls to see it.

I’ll admit to being a bit disappointed that it wasn’t a totally perfect day. The lake was cloaked in smoke from neighboring forest fires and a good part of the rim road was closed due to construction. But we still got up to the rim and walked around and had a good time. Hopefully the girls will get back here again on a crystal clear day and experience it at its best.

Embracing Imperfection

While preparing for this trip I read a lot of travel related material, books, blogs, etc. Many of these were illustrated with scads of gorgeous photos and perfectly timed moments. I am happy for those people.

But I am also finding peace in accepting that our travel experiences and photos will be much less professional, but much more our own. The lighting might be wrong and we might miss many of the “must see” sights and attractions, but the experiences are ours and the photos will tell our story.

I had pictured this photo actually having all six of our faces in it. But I also hadn’t known that this spot at the market is for pedestrians and vehicles. Lots of both. And so, I did the best I could but moved along with traffic even though the photo looked the way it does. Poor Esme is cut from the photo, but certainly wasn’t cut from our day’s adventures and fun.

Jr Ranger

Esme has a quickly growing collection of Jr Ranger badges from each of the National Parks we have visited. The procedure is a little different at each park, but usually includes a swearing in ceremony. This one at Devil’s Tower was a little different in that it was a poem in rhyming couplets. Very sweet!

(I really love the look on the male ranger’s face. More often than not the rangers or the bystanders have a very similar look when kids are getting their badges. It’s just the sweetest thing!)