Taking the plunge
If you have never had the opportunity to see crater lake in person, nothing can quite prepare you for the intense azul waters reflecting the sky. The deepest lake in the US, it is made up completely of collected water from melted snow and rain settling in the dormant volcano's caldera. You can drive around the rim of the volcano, but only the Cleetwood trail takes you to the water where the water is about 50 degrees (F) even in the summer, when snow is still common. The brave can jump in to the clear waters from cliffs that seem much higher when standing on the edge. Here, I mustered up the courage to feel the rush for myself with a couple of onlookers. That leap provided me with enough adrenaline to fuel the tough trek back up to the rim.