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the VTEC guy 21st September 2009 04:49

Trip to Crater Lake and Sand Dunes
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Hello friends. This is my first attempt to post a travelogue on team-bhp.

1. Crater lake, oregon state, US
2. Sand dunes, florence, oregon state, US

1. Drive from Portland oregon to crater lake - mostly drive on interstate-5
2. after visiting crater lake drive on roseberg for a overnight halt
3. drive to sand dunes located at florence through scenic
4. drive back to Portland via scenic HWY 101

Vehicle - Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Altima

Its summer time and the occasion is one of the last long weekends (labor day) starting from the 5th Sep through 7th Sep. We planned a 2 day trip to Crater lake national park and sand-dunes redreaional park. Total number of passengers - 3 families with 6.5 people.

Typical for such long weekends excursions many of the Americans prefer to keep there personal vehicles at home and rent out a vehicle of your choice. So did we. After doing a cost benefit analysis it was figured that renting 7 seater van/suv would be costlier than 2 full size cars. So we book 2 full size cars through enterprise. We picked on the cars (Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Altima) on Friday evening.

Saturday 5th Sep we started early in the morning for Crater lake. It was a smooth 4 hour drive and we reached Crater lake by about 12:30. the lake is basically a crater formed after a major volcanic eruption many years ago. Its known for crystal clear water and magical blue color that can be seen. This place is restricted national park. Close by there is another lake called Diamond lake that offers year long recreational activities like boating/fishing/camping in summer and skiing during winter. After a brief stop at Crater lake we headed towards Diamond lake and then to Roseberg for our night halt.

the VTEC guy 21st September 2009 04:59

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Sunday 6th September again we start early in morning and reach sand-dunes situated near Florence. This place was the main purpose of the trip. Sand dunes are large formations of sand-dunes dotting the south west coastline of Oregon state. These vast expanse of sand dunes are open for public for various recreational activities. You can ride dune buggies, sand rail rides, rent out ATVs, etc. We were there for riding the ATVs and sand rail tours. This is second time I am riding the ATV and have to say it is fantastic experience. You can rent a 250cc 2 stroke gearless RWD ATV for about 45$ an hour. For first timers it takes almost 15/20 mins figuring out the working of ATV and driving it in sand. Accelerator operated by right hand thumb like operating a choke of a bike. The rear wheels were driven by a simple chain sprocket arrangement. If anyone gets this opportunity I would highly recommend it. Further we also took ride in the sand rails tours. These are kind of VW beetle dune buggies driven by professionals at very high speeds. You donít have to be in a Paris Dakar rally to experience this. It was a 5 seater vehicle with just bare tubular chassis and a rear placed air cooled engine from beetle. Tires are specifically made for sand operation. Surprisingly there was no 4WD. This is a hell of a experience as well. I will upload the videos too.

After the OTR excursion we got back on the road and took the scenic HWY 101 back to Portland. This highway is rated one of the most beautiful roads to drive. On the way we stopped at a beautiful lighthouse and beach.

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