A Caldera of Awesomeness - Day 7

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June 2nd 2012
Published: June 3rd 2012
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Day 7

A Caldera of Awesomeness

Today we woke to more rain and clouds – so no dune buggies. I think Shelby was more disappointed than Stephen. Weather reports promise partly cloudy skies with lots of sunshine so we head out to Crater Lake. We take the scenic highway - of course trying to see as much as we can.

Scenic highways are really curvy highways. They are slow highways and they are yawn a thousand times highways. They are the longer highways. They are the twist and turn highways. They are the up and down highways. But by the end they are truly the exceptional vista highways.

Today’s scenic highways did not disappoint. The first followed 2 rivers through gorges with numerous rapids. The road was narrow and did not have many pullouts, so photo ops were not numerous. We did stop at 2 different waterfalls, which were a nice way to stretch a bit during the ride. We grabbed a few good photos and moved on. Later we stopped at Diamond Lake. You could certainly tell the weather had turned nicer and warmer (just as the weather reports had said) by all the boaters and campers in that area. It is a nice lake and has snow capped mountains as a backdrop. We were anxious to get to our destination, so we only stopped for a quick minute and swiftly moved forward.

A few miles later we see the sign we have been waiting for – Crater Lake. We had to enter via the west entrance because the other entrances are still closed due to snow cover. We stop at the beginning of the park to visit the gift shop and to eat lunch, which was rather tasty and not overly priced – unusual for a national park concessioner. We show our annual park pass again (getting lots of use this trip) and then we move up the mountain. We had to climb pretty high to get to the Lake, but it was a nice climb – snowy mountains and cliffs. Then we arrive at Crater Lake and it was an awesome sight!

Crater Lake was formed when the caldera of a volcano collapsed. It is filled by snow and rain – no streams or rivers run to or from it. It is the cleanest lake in the world and the deepest in the USA at 1943 feet deep. It receives over 400 inches of snow every year and the mountain caps always have snow on them. It is a sight to behold, one words cannot really describe. There is a small island in the middle of the lake, which erupted after the lake formed. The volcano is not extinct and is unknown when it could erupt again. I am very glad I got to see it before that happens.

We took tons of pictures of this beautiful lake. It is so big and blue – it just draws you in. We watched several birds in the area – some were blue as the lake. There was still quite a bit of snow around preventing us from getting to some areas. The lake has a drive that goes all the way around the rim of the crater, but the road is still closed due to snow. So we had to turn around and go back down. We were also not able to get out on any trails, for those required snowshoes. But it was certainly worth the drive there just to see the lake.

After leaving the national park, we take the Crater Lake Scenic Highway to Grants Pass (our destination for the night). It too had nice, twisty, curvy, sleepy sights – including rivers, lakes, and gorges. A few more pics and we call it a day. Now to get ready for tomorrow – Redwoods National Park and Forests…

Additional photos below
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3rd June 2012

Sorry about the dune buggy's!! The pictures are worth the trip. Can't believe it is still so cool there. Do you have to go at the end of summer to have warm weather?? On to another day. Have fun and stay safe! Love you all.
4th June 2012

It does appear that late summer is when the snow is gone, flowers are in bloom and the jackets can be put away. The weather is a bit weird here.

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