Crater Lake is, as the name says, a lake in a volcanic crater. It's quite beautiful, but at the end of the day it's a lake in a crater and not much more - so as far as nature photography is concerned, I figured I had to "do something with the sky". Now, the only thing you can do with the sky is either photograph the Mily Way (or stars), or the light show that happens at sunrise or sunset. Due to Wizard Island being in the west end of the lake (and the East Rim road being closed), that narrowed things down to stars or sunrise for me.
But there's always the risk that the clouds don't cooperate and then you have nothing - so I figured I had to give myself two mornings: Saturday and Sunday. This took a little bit of logistical planning, since I was working in Sunnyvale on Friday, and ultimately the schedule worked out like this: Friday - drive to Weed, sleep, then depart 0300 to arrive at Crater Lake 0530, one hour before sunrise. Do any star-related photography and wait for the sunrise.
The timing lined up perfectly while planning. However, after going to bed at about midnight in Weed, the "depart at 0300" part seemed like masochism. But it worked. And while the clouds didn't cooperate much, they cooperated enough that I'd get a nice sunrise, moonrise and Venus-rise.