© Cindy Beck, 2008
(Keywords: Cindy Beck, Wyoming, Crater Lake, Snowy Range, Laramie, fishing, humor, Latter-day Saints, LDS, Your LDS Radio, yourLDSNeighborhood.com)
As you remember (or not!) from my blog on Nov. 3, 2008, my family and I had decided to go fishing at Crater Lake. Call us adventurous—although I have to say that Cindy Adventurous doesn’t sound quite as good as Cindy Beck does—but we wanted to find the place just by using a map.
Okay, I’ll tell the truth. We also wanted to use a global positioning satellite receiver, but they weren’t invented back then. Instead, we used the next best thing when we got lost—a desk clerk at a lodge who couldn’t have directed you to water if it sat in a bottle in front of him.
He sounded convincing when he gave us directions—to the lake, not the water bottle—and so, rather than admit defeat, we sallied forth.
It didn’t take long for us to realize our journey had gone awry.
My husband, Russ, stopped the car after five minutes of travel on a dirt road—the one that supposedly led to the lake. He looked at the muffler-crumpling rock in the way. “Houston, we have a problem,” Russ said, holding his hand to his mouth and making the crackly sounds of a microphone.
Our son, Davey, looked out the window. “Roger, that,” he said, giving his own version of crackly noises. Only it came out more like, “Coger cat,” because Flopsey, the dog, had stuck her head in his face, trying to discover why it sounded like popcorn popping in his throat.
I pondered the problem in the road and ignored them all. Then, the complicated solution came to me—just move the rock. I leaped out of the car and moved the boulder.
Russ watched, and even with the shadows from the trees making weird shapes on his face, I could see a mischevious glint in his eye. “Why don’t you sit on the hood and tell me where the big rocks are?” he asked.
“Because when I sit on the hood, I have to hold onto the windshield wipers so I don’t slide off when you stomp the brakes.”
“And the problem is?” Russ wiped dust from the interior of the windshield, which was good. That way the gleam in his eye was easier to see.
I inclined my head toward the front bumper. “ I can’t see past the end of the hood.”
Davey stuck his head out the side window. “I can see, and I’ll tell you when rocks are in the way.”
We drove 5 miles an hour, with Davey pointing out rocks, and me jumping off the hood to move them. It kept us all occupied and made the time pass, which was good, because the dirt road that was only supposed to go one mile went three, and it took us an hour to get to the end of it.
By now, we were positive the lake was close. According to the guy at the lodge—the one with as much sense of direction as a yo-yo—all we had to do was hike in ½ mile and we were there. I could smell fish frying already. We started hiking … ½ mile, ¾ mile, 1 mile. Surely the lake was right around the next bend. And then it started raining. Finally, after 2 miles, wet shoes, and clothes, we saw a sign that said, “Crater Lake.”
“Wahoo, “ shouted Russ and Davey.
“Oops,” I said. The two guys and the dog stopped their victory jig in mid-fling.
“Oops?” Russ walked to where I was standing, just beyond the sign. Davey and Flopsey followed, their tails wagging behind them. Well, maybe Davey’s tail wasn’t wagging, but Flopsey’s was.
Just past the sign … and 800 feet, straight down … sat Crater Lake. We were standing on a rocky ledge above it.
The sun broke through the clouds overhead. “The lake looks beautiful with its azure waters and its shining shores,” I said, in a melancholy voice.
The trail wended its way down to the lake, and Russ kicked a pebble down it. “Yup, and by the time that little stone hits bottom, it’ll be a full grown boulder.”
I looked at the sky. Pinks and oranges tinted the clouds as the sun dropped lower in the horizon. “It doesn’t look like we’ll be catching any fish at Crater Lake today.”
“Maybe not,” Russ said, “but it was a fun ride.”
I stared at him, wondering for a second if the cold drizzle had hypothermia-ed his brain. Then I turned and sprinted in the direction of the car. “Yup, it was so much fun that I call “driver” and the three of you can sit on the hood and move the boulders!”
What's playing in my head (and on my computer): Drive This Road by Peter Breinholt & Big Parade (on Your LDS Radio)
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