Sunday, July 20, 2014

Shred Oregon Day 10: Crater Lake

We put our bikes away, said goodbye to Oakridge, and headed for Crater Lake.  Drew had last seen it when he was a child and I had never been.  It's a volcano, geologic, a national park.  Why had I never been?

We found a camp spot after dark and after circumnavigating Diamond Lake and checking out all the campgrounds.  We ended up here in the morning.

 Diamond Lake Campground with Mount Bailey for a backdrop.

Not bad for picking out a spot in the dark.

 Resident campground "wild" turkey, looking for scraps of breakfast.

Pumice covers the ground nearly everywhere for tens of miles around Crater Lake. The pumice is left over from the massive explosion of Mount Mazama that formed the crater where Crater Lake now sits.

To the Park! Just a short drive to the north entrance was in store.

 Obligatory deep snow on roadside picture. 

Mount Thielsen from the north entrance to Crater Lake National Park. 

And then we were there, at the roadside, looking at amazing Crater Lake.  I was not prepared for how breathtakingly beautiful it really was.

 The beauty invites contemplation. 

I should explain the geology of the park but I'm already a month overdue with this post so the best I can do is post pictures of the geo signs. Lame, I know.

More gorgeous pictures. We really got lucky with the bluebird skies and just the right amount of snow for awesome photos!

We had a bit of lunch and some avian company on the roadside.

 Clark's nutcracker

Video of Clark's nutcracker.

A brief stop at the Rim visitor's center to use the bathrooms.  

Extreme measures are taken to preserve access to the restrooms when heavy winter snow is present. 

We went for a short hike to get away from the crowds of the visitor center an the views just didn't stop.

Teensy geology note: a large late-stage lava flow that would have originated near the center of Mount Mazama (center of the lake) shows up really well in this photo as the dark wedge-shaped rock on the rim to the right of Wizard Island.

 Nice volcanic conglomerate in the right foreground. 

But with no biking and limited hiking, there are only so many hours Drew and Lucy can spend in one spot.  It was time to point Dewey east toward Utah to begin the drive home.  We would have one more night of camping before Shred Oregon was through.

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