Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Crater Lake

It seems odd that I'm still writing about our camping trip almost a month later, but we ended up doing a variety of things on this trip which kept us busy. Once we'd finished our camping trip at Redwoods National Park, we headed north to Idaho to meet up with my dad at my parent's place at Couer d'Alene. They've owned this cabin for over 20 years and it's a nice spot to relax, while watching the boats go by. We haven't been able to go up there much, mainly because it's a three day drive of at least 8 hours a day. That's a long time for a kid to be strapped into a car seat with not a whole lot to do except look out the window. So both of the boys got to experience Idaho for the first time and they loved it.

Before we got to Idaho, there was this little thing about the drive. The Tadpole and I left Crescent City and headed north toward Bend, Oregon. There's a friend of mine in Bend who
I met on the Internet about 10 years ago and we've met one other time down at Disneyland. She'd offered her place for us to spend the night on our trip north and it worked out well, since Bend is about the halfway point between Crescent City and Couer d'Alene.
On the way, we drove through Crater Lake National Park.

For those of you who are unaware, Crater Lake is a
dormant volcano.
Not too many volcanoes are
considered extinct anymore. I recall Mt St. Helens
being called extinct at one time in the 1960s. Most are now called dormant for obvious reasons. Crater Lake was formed when the former Mt. Mazama blew so much material into the atmosphere, that the mountain literally collapsed upon itself. Over time, the caldera filled with rain and snow melt forming the
deepest lake in North America and one of the jewels of our national park system.

There were several virtual and earthcaches in the park and we attempted all but two. One of the ones we didn't get was a virtual cache that was extremely close to another earthcache. When I was looking at the geocaching map,
I missed that one, so it never showed up in PQ that I ran for the route we traveled.
The other one we missed was an earthcache on the north side of the park. We missed that one due to some fire activity of a controlled burn along the northern edge of the park. They were using the parking lot where the earthcache was located as a staging area for the firefighters. The parking lot was closed off, so we couldn't get it. The Tadpole has expressed interest in coming back and actually
camping in the park, so that means we'll probably be able to get these two on a return visit.

The last time I was at Crater Lake was on my honeymoon twenty two years ago. It was July and we were snow bound. The night before we arrived, a
storm had rolled through the western
US and dumped over a foot of snow on the rim at Crater Lake. We were
confined to a very small area of the park and the rim drive was closed, so many of the viewpoints were out of our reach on that trip. This time, there was a lot less snow, so the Tadpole and I were able to explore quite a bit of the park.

We traveled down to the Pinnacles area, a spot where I'd never been before.
These interesting features were created as fumaroles, which hardened over time and then had the surrounding material eroded away. We also got to see
Phantom Ship and got some great views of Wizard Island, a volcano growing inside a volcano. The blue of the water is pretty much indescribable. The water is very clear and from what I understand, you can see fairly deeply into the waters. The reflection of the sky creates an incredible blue that has to be seen to really be appreciated. I'll let the pictures do most of the talking.

Pictures were taken at or near the following geocaches:
Ode to a Lake - by LooneyTunes
Mt. Mazama - by Lost Scouts
The Pinnacles - by Chod
Pumice Castle and the Old Man of the Lake - by 47Dad47, KollyWobbels, Sally, and Russ

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Anonymous said...

Gorgeous! I'm putting Crater Lake on my must-see list.

Webfoot said...

First time I went was back in 1966 at the age of 8. This was on a three week camping trip with my family. I don't remember much from that trip, but relived the trip through slide shows during much of the 60s and 70s.

I was determined to see it again after I got married and the honeymoon was the perfect opportunity. This was the third time and I intend to see it again, possibly hiking down to lakeshore and taking the boat over to Wizard Island. I'll need to get in a little better shape for that trek however.

Steve Natoli said...

Unquestionably one of the most gorgeous spots on earth.

Erika Jean said...

Your pictures are amazing!!!!

Looks like a great spot to visit!