The weather remained fine and sunny, but the evenings were chilly due to the altitude and clear skies. During our slow wind-up to the day we had our usual visits from the Steller’s Jays and the chipmunks. All very Disney and cute.
After the exertions of the previous day, we decided to take it easy and cruise around the west/north-east of the crater. We opted to focus on Cleetwood Cove, and drive the entire loop of the crater. Off we headed to the west and started the clockwise circumnavigation. We felt obliged to stop off for a close-up look at Wizard Island – the air was much clearer today.
Cleetwood Cove is the only legitimate place where you can get to the water in the lake. It’s a little jetty that has a regular boat service to Wizard Island. These park-operated boats are the only vessels on the lake too. The descent is pretty steep and has many switchbacks. There were several sets of road improvements being undertaken and when we finally reached the car-park at the top of the trail we were disappointed to find it already full. Not unsurprisingly there were several RVs. Trouble was, they we forced to park lengthways across the parking bays and so each one took the place of 4-5 cars. We asked a ranger and were told that it was totally fine to park along the roadside… next to the several hundred foot drop to the lake and certain death.
Having exhausted ourselves with the climb back up the rim, we continued clockwise around the crater and briefly stopped off to look at Vidae Falls. Due to the recent lack of rains, it was a mere dribble compared to its potential torrent. Very pretty though. I was put in mind of falls in the Isle of Man and the tales of fairies.
By now we felt we’d pretty much “done” the lake and we headed back to the site for a rest… and a beer.
As night-time fell, I attempted to record the amazing number of stars that were visible from the darkened campsite. I was surprised at the range of colours too – they weren’t all just bright white!