Today was one of those unforgettable Great Race days. We’ve seen some pretty cool stuff over the years, but today ranks pretty highly. So high, in fact that we’re including double the amount of photos than normal. The reason for all the excitement? Crater Lake National Park. This place is hard to describe, but imagine a volcano that erupted, and then filled with water from snow melting and rain. The lake is nearly 2,000 feet deep, and the interesting vantage point from high above the water provides one of the most majestic sites in the United States. The road that goes around the lake ranges from 7,000 to 8,000 feet altitude and we experienced snow showers and strong winds early in the day…later the clouds moved away, revealing the true beauty of the lake. Temperatures in the mid ’30s during the middle of the day were a brisk reminder that we aren’t in California any more. We enjoyed the snow, and the beautiful scenery, but that was only a small part of our day.
We started the day’s course with a long run through the hills and trees that surround towns such as Butte Falls, Prospect and Union Creek, Oregon. Then, it was time to traverse Crater Lake and grab lunch at one of the restaurants inside the park. After all the snowy fun, the racers went back on the clock for another long run. This time, it was a long straight stretch that tied us back into Highway 97 for a few moments, and then we peeled off to check out the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway. These long runs can be tricky, but that’s all part of the challenge of the Great Race. Finally, we landed in Bend, Oregon for our evening stop. Cool temperatures and light rain showers were not exactly prime conditions for a big spectator crowd, but we were still impressed with the support from the locals. Throughout the day’s tough competition, we had yet another new daily winner (6 winners in 6 days of competition). Stage 6 winners are Trevor Stahl and Josh Hull in their very patriotic 1932 Ford speedster.