Since we had a restless night (we decided to sleep in the car so that we didn't have to pack up camp in the dark in the morning), we woke up at 4:30 am and decide to start driving towards Crater Lake and Toketee Falls. We had been told the fires were still so bad that we probably wouldn't have good weather or views at Crater Lake, and even if the weather was clear we probably wouldn't be able to get in to the park because there would be too much snow to drive on the roads. So, we prepared ourselves for the worst and thought maybe we would go to Toketee Falls first and then maybe the middle of the day would bring warmer weather and clearer skies at Crater Lake. As we approached Crater Lake and prepared to drive past it, something told us to try. We made a sharp turn into the park once we saw the "Crater Lake National Park" entry signs, and it was the best decision we ever made. The sun was rising, the skies were as clear and as crisp as they could be, snow covered the ground everywhere except the roads, and at 7am we were the only people in the entire park. As we prepared for what we were sure was going to be the best view of our lives, we threw on some layers, stepped out of the car, grabbed each others hands and start walking up to the rim of the lake.
Little did I know that the view I was about to see was going to be made even better by one of the most memorable moments of life.
Blake popped the question as we were posing for a picture with his camera on a tripod, and I LOST IT you guys!!! Literally the coolest thing ever and I couldn't have asked for a better moment than this.
After taking the time to take it all in, hug each other, admire the ring ;), and enjoy the view, we explored a few other sections of the lake rim, and just tried to cherish the fact that we were the only people there.
Crater Lake is great because just simply driving through is gorgeous. You can pull over at any over look and you won't be disappointed. We found a ton of cool spots just by walking the rim.
Once people started slowly showing up in the park, we drove over to the Crater Lake café (basically the gift shop), and paid for wifi so we could call our families and tell them the good news (yay!). The staff there were so nice, they even gave us a commemorative Crater Lake National Park coin to remember our big day... so sweet!
After the shock of getting engaged settle just a bit, we ate lunch at an over look in the park, then we hopped in the car and drove to Umpqau National Forest to see Toketee falls. Umpqua is a stunning drive, and the short yet beautiful hike to the fall was the perfect way to close out our day.
If you want to get the coolest view of Toketee (from the bottom), you have to crawl through a little hole in the fence of the viewing deck, which is covered with caution tape. once you're through the whole, you actually have to rappel down a knotted rope and get your hands a little dirty climbing to the bottom, but the view is well worth it.
We had zero cell service the whole day so it was actually super fun to get back in the city and have both of our phones blow up with texts from friends who had been trying to reach us to congratulate us all day!
After Toketee, we drove to Medford to get a good nights sleep in an AirBnB for the night. Blake treated me to a romantic dinner at In-N-Out, my favorite burger place EVER and basically that's how I would describe my perfect day- lol!