Road Crew

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Crater and Critters

Crater Lake is known for its perfect blue waters and there really is nothing quite like your first view of it as you peer over the edge.  It is like looking into God’s own swimming pool. As tempting as it is to jump in, the 1000 foot cliffs tend to keep out the unwashed masses. It is also amazing to thing of think of what it once was and what sort of explosion took it down. Morbid curiosity has me wondering what would happen should it ever get bored and decide to explode again. Portland could start a whole new industry in steam baths.  For now it is still under snow so unfortunately running at 7000 feet was not in the cards for me.  Shucks.
            Crater Lake is not without its wildlife and they are known to be aggressive. I have yet to experience Alaskan Mosquitoes, which are supposed to be as big as their bears, but I will give the Oregon Mosquitoes credit for drawing a lot of blood.  I may need a transfusion by the time it is over.  It is probably a good thing I don’t want kids because it will be a miracle if I don’t have Zika by the time this is over.  I finally broke down and went to the camp store looking for a (final) solution for the little bastards.  I selected a large citronella candle and considered various ointments, lotions and potions.  The clerk was an overly helpful, up-in-your-business type.  This was tolerable while we were discussing my fire making skills and his suggestions for improvement.  However, when it came to the mosquitoes, he deemed my strategy all wrong.  Outside of an oncologist office, I have never seen someone so adamant about bathing yourself in poison.  The only solution is DEET, according to this man.  When I expressed my reluctance, he rolled his eyes and told me I would be back tomorrow for “the real stuff” because the DEET is fine, “just” as long as you don’t eat it or breath it.  It desperately made me want to know what he did for a living before he retired to be a summer clerk in a national park.  Marketing?  Sales?  Torture?
            I’m sure he meant well since Oregonians believe in helping each other.  For example, at the gas stations, there is someone there to pump your gas.  This is something I find incredibly awkward when I pull up so the tank is on the wrong side of the car.  You would think 12,000 miles later I would have this down. I am sure they sold this law as job creation and an important service to little old ladies who never learned to pump their own gas but it just tells me that someone in the Oregon legislature didn’t like getting his suit wet while pumping gas in the rain.  They also believe in helping each other die so maybe that explains the DEET.

            In the mean time, I am having romantic candle lit dinners with myself as the beasts feast on my flesh.  Time to try out the bear spray.


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