Tales From The Road

In January of 2007, I left my corporate job, packed my dog and my guitar in a 2005 Sportman Sportster Trailer, and began my year and a half journey on the road. When I left, I had no set schedule or map. I kept many journals. This Tales From The Road blog is excerpts taken from an online blog I kept during that journey. Every few weeks, updates will be posted to this blog. They will not necessarily be in chronological order.

First Installment

August 28, 2007

Crater Lake and Bees

Nearly eight thousand years ago, a twelve thousand-foot mountain exploded, collapsing into itself and depositing ash, which can still be found in three Canadian provinces and eight U.S. states. Geologists surmise the eruption spewed one hundred and fifty times the amount of ash expelled by the modern Mount Saint Helens’ eruption.

The result was the deepest lake in the United States, Crater Lake. A ‘closed’ ecosystem, Crater Lake has no rivers to and fro, and had no fish until the white man threw some in. They are mostly dying out now (the fish, that is).

Peaking mysteriously out of the southern tip, across the clear, deep blue, is Wizard’s Island, believed to have been caused by a more recent eruption.

‘Bear are in this campground.’

Mazama Village Campgrounds doesn’t get fancy with the verbiage or the warnings. They keep it simple.

‘Bear are in this campground.’

What about Chiye-Tanka, I wonder? Two police officers in the Pacific Northwest reported sightings of Sasquatch. The Lakota Indians knew of Big Elder Brother, Chiye-Tanka. Where is that warning?

The Sioux, Hopi, and Iroquois have other names for the creature. Many tribes believe Chiye-Tanka is sacred and has the rare consciousness of beast and human. Some tribes believe it exists in the spirit world and the physical world, crossing dimensions.

No signs warning of Sasquatch.

I can’t say whether it was my reckless parking job or Jasmine’s full-on pit bull-style attack of the tree roots that set the bees loose, but something got them going. They were many, and fast. Jasmine went wild, apparently believing she could eat them to death. Once I was able to pull Jasmine far enough away, I was pleased to find they were not interested in an organized assault. They made a lot of noise and got my heart rate up, but eventually let us be.

Having found a spot secluded enough to risk it, I let Jasmine stay outside while I take the motorcycle and make my way around the lake.

They say, long before Buddha, long before Christ, there were Native Americans living here. They say those people witnessed the massive eruption that brought Crater Lake into the world.

I dismount, opting to hike the two and half miles to the tallest point at Crater Lake, on Mount Scott. Elevation, just under nine thousand feet.

Grasshopper-looking creatures, a grayish hue, are everywhere. They blast rapid crackling sounds like machine guns. The sound, much bigger than their size, serves as a great defense mechanism.

As I ascend the peak, the fire tower greets me. It stands on stilts, encased in glass. Then, the signs greet me.


They really keep their signs simple here. The signs stating ‘No’ and a blocked staircase make it clear. The fire tower is not for public use.

Beyond the fire tower is a grand view of Bear Butte, Sharp Peak, Scott Bluffs, and the deep blue expanse of the Crater Lake.

I sit, eat my tuna sandwich, and prepare for the descent. I make my way back to camp.

“You see that, Jas?” I ask her, pointing to the sky. “Those there are friendly looking clouds, but the way they’re racing toward each other, they’re about to get less friendly.”

Seeing that there are no squirrel or deer in the sky, she goes back to looking for bees to eat.