Saturday, September 25, 2010

Crater Lake

We continued north on Highway 97 to enter Crater Lake National Park via the South Entrance.  I was looking for the typical big park service sign (like Yosemite) so completely missed the south side sign!

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Even though the Visitor Center was very busy, the Park Service employees were all so friendly and helpful. (At a lodge we would visit later, the employees were counting down the hours until they closed for the season).  Be sure to notice the size of the rocks the CCC used in construction of the Visitor Center and the Admin building (the second photo).   These may be my favorite CCC projects yet.

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Crater Lake was surreal to me.  It looks just like all the post cards I have seen over the years.  I could not wrap myself around it. Here’s Wizard Island, a small volcano inside Crater Lake.

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The cone at the top of Wizard Island with the trees dying from a disease. Too bad!  It’s possible to hike around the island when the boat tour makes a stop there.

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This is the northwest shore.  The sides of the crater are very steep, the only place to hike down is to Cleetwood Cove where the boat launches.

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It was a bit overcast and cloudy when we were there.  Don’t know if the colors in the rock (or the blue of the water) would be brighter or not on a sunny day, but were very beautiful this day.

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Lunch in the lodge was wonderful.  We waited on the back porch that seems to sit right on the edge of the crater.  (It’s very like sitting on the patio of the Chalet overlooking Hetchy).

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The lodge was built in 1923,  not sure if this is was a CCC project.

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The view from the back porch of the lodge.

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The Watchman lookout tower is a 1 mile hike from the Rim Road. It got it’s name when surveyors sounding the lake with a reel of piano wire in 1886 signaled their location with a mirror to watchers in the tower.  They recorded a depth of 1996 feet that has since been corrected by sonar to 1943 feet. Pretty close!

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Heading north out of the park is the Pumice Desert.  These trees are just finally beginning to take hold after the eruption that created Crater Lake.

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We continued on to Diamond Lake and got settled in to our motel.  I wasn’t quite finished with Crater Lake so returned to watch the sun go down.  Before I left on this trip Super Nephew S said this would be a recognizance for next year.  He was right.  Next year we can plan to spend a few days, hiking, doing the boat tour, and really getting to know the lake.  On the other hand,  I wonder if that is really possible.  One thing I know for sure, don’t wait until you are 60 years old to visit Crater Lake!

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