Bend and Crater Lake National Park




After leaving the coast traveled to Bend, Oregon. We loved this town! There is so much there, but it is all pretty close together and doesn’t have a big city feel quite yet. We stayed at the Bend Sunriver Thousand Trails. The town of Sunriver near the campground is really cute and quaint, with coffee shops, a grocery store, Sunriver Brewing Co. Restaurant, and lots of bike trails.

We ate out way too much while in Bend, and still had many more places that we wanted to try. Some of our favorite spots were Spork Restaurant, McKay Cottage Restaurant, Backstreet Coffee Shop, the downtown area shops, Bonta Gelato, and Humm Kombucha, which got us addicted to healthy and great tasting (non-vinegaresque) kombucha (fermented and flavored tea).

Lava lands and the Newberry Volcano National Monument was also in this area, so we hiked the 1 mile long Lava River Cave.  This hike was a lot of fun for the kids. Be sure to bring a strong flashlight, or rent one there for $5 like we did! If going again, I probably would have worn a mask or bandana over our noses and mouths while in the cave, not only to scare everyone else, but also because there was a lot of black dust in the air!


David’s parents flew out to take care of the kids for a long weekend while David and I flew out to Des Moines to lead worship at Des Moines First Assembly! A great time was had by all! The kids loved getting to spend time with their grandparents and showing them the RV life.

After we left Bend, we stayed for 2 nights for free in the Kla-Mo-Ya Casino parking lot, about 30 minutes from Crater Lake National Park, which was the closest spot we could find that had AT&T signal for our internet to work. Crater Lake is pretty remote, and there weren’t even places to eat around the park, so this is a good place to pack a lunch!

Crater Lake was made when the volcano, Mount Mazama, basically imploded on itself after it erupted thousands of years ago. No rivers run in and no rivers run out. It has been filled with rain and snow water and is very clear. It is also the deepest lake in the US. It was pretty there, and at times as we drove the rim trail, we were driving through the clouds. We hiked a steep 2 mile trail down to touch the water! The hike back up wasn’t so easy, so as usual, Ellie got a ride up on daddy’s shoulders most of the way. Ty did amazing on this difficult trail, and we took many rests!

We definitely recommend having a yummy hot chocolate out on the patio at the Crater Lake Lodge where they serve appetizers and beverages without reservations. This patio gives a great view of Crater Lake as long as the fog hasn’t rolled in.

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