Smoke Forces Tourists to Change Plans

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CRATER LAKE, Ore. — After about two months of planning, David and Lucille Carberry are seeing beautiful, and smoky, Southern Oregon for the first time.

“Crater Lake was always a destination, but this was the year and we tried it,” David said.

The couple came all the way from Boston to get a tour of the West Coast. Monday, their tour guide had scheduled to take them hiking around Crater Lake, but acrid air forced them into plan b, and they say that’s alright.

“He offered us a really good alternative, we’ll do the museums today,” Lucille said.

“We’re on vacation, not on a schedule, simple as that,” David added.

“If the conditions are better, tomorrow we’ll get to see Crater Lake,” Lucille said.

Kim Lewis, the owner of Main Street Adventure tours, says he’s seen only two cancellations so far, but there have been a lot of plan b’s, sometimes by necessity rather than choice.

“We will say no, and people are generally happy that we’re caring for their health rather than commerce,” Lewis explained.

Officials say vacationers usually don’t want to cancel things like hotel reservations, and that’s keeping the extent of losses somewhat at bay. That, and the fire crews themselves.

“From a transient lodging tax-point, we might be okay, and the reason we might be okay is because we’ve also had firemen stay local, which we didn’t anticipate on,” Lewis said.

But what they do know for sure, is that it won’t be enough to break even.

“There’s going to be an economic hit, but it’s not going to be what it could be,” Lewis added. “We’ve all worked together to make it work.”

For David and Lucille, a less crowded tour of the region doesn’t sound so bad and they say the smoke will definitely become a lasting memory.

“The smoke levels, you never hear that in Boston,” David laughed.