Awesome Road Trip on 'Pacific Coast Highway' - Part III

This post is the third part of our road trip along the world famous 'Pacific Coast Highway' (PCH) on the occasion of our 3rd anniversary. You can find the previous posts here and here.

On Day 5, we proceeded to Crater Lake National Park with is our final destination of the trip. Though we would visit other places on our way back, this was supposed to be the highlight of the trip, given that it is the location we chose to celebrate our Wedding Anniversary the following day. However, due to the clouds in the sky and smoke from fire in a nearby area, the lake was not as blue as I told it would be and it was a disappointment to me. Don't get me wrong, it is amazing to know how a volcanic eruption led to the formation of this lake by breaking up a mountain range. But, bring me the Blue! We managed to get some pretty pictures and then went to our cabin in Chiloquin which is about 45 minutes from there. The cabin turned out to be very nice and well furnished, though the location wasn't that great. I would recommend staying at the Crater Lake Lodge which is located strategically on the rim of Crater Lake which makes it possible to get the best views right from the window of your room. But it gets booked up pretty quickly and is a bit expensive.

On Day 6, our anniversary day, we had booked a boat tour in an attempt to do some activity at the Crater Lake. Other recreational activities like Jet Skiing, para sailing etc are not allowed here to preserve the beauty of the lake. There is a 1.1-mile hike down on Cleetwood Trail to access the lake and boat dock. Going down was a breeze but the 1.1 mile back to the top wasn't. The hike overall was fun but our boat tour got canceled due to bad weather, which to be honest we did not mind. We instead had a nice lunch at the beautiful Crater Lake lodge, with great views of the Lake.

On Day 7, we were back in California and this time headed to Napa Valley. We had been to a vineyard before in Temecula near San Diego but we went in December after the harvest season and it was not that pretty. This time in August, the harvest season has not yet begun, so we expected it to be pretty but did not imagine that seeing grapes on grapevines would be so much fun. We were so excited to see the grapes hanging in bunches that we had to literally stop ourselves from plucking them off. We went to one of the first wineries that came our way, eager to get a closer look at the grapes. It was a small one called Acacia Wineries but the wines were good and they directed us to their sister company 'Sterling Vineyards' which has elaborate wine tours. It was about an hours drive from there but totally worth it. They took us in an aerial tram to the winery where there was a self-guided tour which took us through several buildings with demonstrative videos of wine making process and they served wines at each location. We saw the huge crushers, fermentation barrels, storage barrels and learned a thing or two about the wine making process which I found quite interesting. We really enjoyed the experience and would recommend it to anyone looking for a tour, though we did not actually like their wines much.

Hanging black grapes - So tempting!

Closer Look

Sterling Vineyard
One last click!

After Napa Valley, we went to Santa Clara and then to San Diego in the next couple of days where we drove during the day and stayed at our friends' places during the night and finally reached Phoenix on the 10th day. Overall, it was a wonderful and memorable trip - a road trip that was just perfect for us. Though the weather was not perfect and the pacific beaches were still cold, it did not matter much to us and we managed to have a great time. This I believe is a sign that we are maturing as travelers, which I am so glad about. The convertible helped, of course!

Hope you enjoyed reading about our road trip. Now, it is time to plan yours! Drop me a comment if you have any questions or need suggestions. Will be happy to help!


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