We've lived in Oregon for 7 years now (and I’ve lived in the PNW all my life), don’t you think it’s time we visited Crater Lake? I had just got home from the Seattle GBF trip and in a flash it was time to hit the road again, off to Central Oregon to do some volcano exploration. First up, Crater Lake.
While waiting at the gate to pay the fee and get our day pass I spotted this little wildflower (or weed) and had to go take a closer look. It was so soft! When I decided to photograph it the butterfly (moth?) cruised in and seized the opportunity for a moment of fame. We heard the road we took to the lake had just opened up a couple weeks ago, seeing how much snow was still left on July 31st it was easy to see why. They reportedly get 44 ft of snow up there in the winter. I wouldn’t want to be the guy responsible for plowing this road! At the first view point there was this sign. No kidding that’s a steep drop off! Bits of asphalt had given way and tumbled down the cliff. Yikes. There were huge fields of these flowers; wherever the snow had receded they had popped up. And now a few tidbits from the Crater Lake visitor guide… - The lake is the deepest lake in the United States. - Fed by only rain and snow (no rivers or streams) it is considered to be the cleanest large body of water in the world (not sure who’s doing the fact checking on that one but it sounds reasonable). -About 6,800 years ago, at the climax of a series of dramatic eruptions the magma chamber was emptied and the volcano collapsed leaving a huge bowl shaped caldera. Geologists believe that lava flows which erupted after the collapse helped to seal the fractured caldera floor, allowing melting snow and rain to accumulate. So beautiful... We had lunch and explored the visitor center and lodge on the volcano rim. I was surprised to see gorgeous native Veratrum growing everywhere! When you do find these beauties in nurseries they don’t come cheap, I was dying to bring a few home with me. Digging plants in a National Park would be an ultimate in danger gardening wouldn’t it? (there were signs everywhere warning you not to do so). So striking! Dead and dying trees can be beautiful too. The lodge… I was all for pulling up a chair and enjoying a glass of wine at the lodge…that view! Then the husband reminded me that someone had to drive back down the steep curvy road with no guard rails. Damn.