On Wednesday we left Portland behind and headed south to Crater Lake. We have seen pictures and heard stories of Crater Lake, but nothing can prepare you for the indescribable emotion as you summit the rim and the entire heavenly blue lake unfolds before your eyes. After some failed attempts to capture the beauty we put our cameras away and just soaked in the scenery. 

As we drove down the south slope, with the lake fading in our mirrors, we were silent. Nothing could be said and nothing should be said after leaving a place like Crater Lake. Shane put a chill, folk music playlist on and drove silently through the trees as the sun faded somewhere far beyond our vision. 

The melancholy was short lived as a person came walking out of the woods waving her hands and walking into our path. We came to a stop in the middle of a vacant mountain road and rolled down the window. She was hiking the Oregon portion of the Pacific Crest Trail and had made a wrong turn or two (probably running from the swarms of mosquitos). Julie was looking for the village of Mazama where she had rented a cabin for the night ahead of time. She asked if she was on the right track and Shane confirmed that we had just passed through it. We offered her a ride back to the village and she jumped on the offer. Later, we found out that she had hiked more than 20 miles that day! 

Julie didn’t have any concerns or worries about jumping in a car with a couple of strangers from Minnesota, but was very concerned that she would stink our car up. – Julie, if you ever get a chance to read this, we are two guys that have been on the road for 10 days, mostly living out of our car where we do not shower for extended periods of time. Trust me, you can’t make our car smell any worse! – We drove back to Mazama and ran into another road-tripper/hiker named Ryan from Edina, MN! When he heard we were from Minnesota as well it was like a long lost reunion of some sort of brotherhood. Julie was out-numbered and surrounded by Minn-e-so-tans. Sorry Julie!

We exchanged information and handshakes and drove off in search of our own resting spot for the night. We didn’t give any money away or buy anyone lunch, but good deeds don’t always have to come in only cash forms. If we gave Julie an option between $50 or directions and a ride to Mazama, I’m guessing she would have taken the latter of the two. 

Do good, no cash necessary. ‪#‎ProjectWildness‬