This weekend, Gilly and I decided to dive Clear Lake. Due to a late start and worries about getting parking near enough to our dive entry point, we made a last minute call to instead head out to Lake Waldo. At the time this seemed like a great decision.

One, Lake Waldo is a good deal warmer than Clear Lake.

Two, I had not yet dived it.

And three, it’s marginally closer to Eugene.

Plus, we’d heard from a friend a few days earlier that the access road to the lake had finally opened up again — usually, access to altitude lakes is blocked in the winter due to snow and Lake Waldo sitting at around 5,400 ft is no exception.

The journey went mostly as planned: obligatory coffee stop(s), snack stop and gas fueling. It all seemed to be going well. Imagine my surprise then when we turned on to the access road, which was indeed open, to find fallen trees blocking half the road, rock falls with plenty of boulders in the road (yes, boulders) and then…snow drifts. The further we drove the more frequent the snow drifts became and the faster my heart sank. Finally, one of the drifts stopped us dead in our tracks. Gilly had to back up, wheels spinning. We tried again and made it through. Our triumph was short-lived though when not a minute later we hit an impasse — an endless stretch of snow entirely blanketing the road. Even a 4×4 had stopped. When we got out to see what was going on, the driver told us he’d taken a walk up and seen that the snow got deeper, and that even he didn’t dare try it. While we “might” make it through this section, there was still plenty of snow ahead to contend with.

And thus was the reality of our scuba diving weekend; it became a scuba DRIVING weekend. Thank you Oregon…


Written by Candice Landau
I'm an active Divemaster, a lover of marine life and all efforts related to marine conservation, a newly certified tech diver and a member of various scuba organizations in the Pacific Northwest. I write articles related to diving and spend my non-diving time writing and providing digital marketing services to nonprofits and businesses.