As you can see, I made it to Crater Lake late this afternoon. More about that in a moment. First some catch-up from the last couple of days.
Spent some of yesterday in Bend on household chores. In addition to the usual – dump tanks, take on water, top-off propane - the GDB was in dire need of a hearty scrub after accumulating 10 states-worth of road sludge and bug slaughter.
I'm left to wonder just how many people in Bend have provided homes for both Volkwagen Buses AND black labs?
The rest of the day was spent walking and relaxing along the Deschutes River in the Old Mill area of Bend. The vista was marred by the unmistakable signs of a forest fire to the southwest.
As the smoke approached town, we experienced a simulated sunset though it was early afternoon.
Today a forest ranger told me that 6,000 acres are affected but that the fire is ‘semi-contained’.
I paused on the way to Crater Lake to visit the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. Lava Butte blew its top about 7,000 years ago. Standing here, you can almost feel the geothermic rumbling that still continues below.
Fun fact: the Apollo astronauts trained here for moon landings.
There was a nice hiking path through the vast lava field that offered a good workout due to the elevation change.
|The tenacity of Life.|
The abundant sunshine and temps in the low 70's made the drive south on US 97 and US 62 even more scenic The landscape leaves no doubt about the volcanic activity that formed this region.
Not far from this spot, I saw a Bald Eagle! My first. What a thrill! Soaring right above my head, close enough to see the eyes. Of course, it happened way to fast for a camera shot.
Upon entering Crater Lake NP from the south entrance, you climb about 2,500 feet over 7 or 8 miles to reach the west rim. The temperature dropped about 12 degrees and I was greeted by:
What can I say?
The view is simply breathtaking.
At almost 2,000 feet deep, Crater Lake is not only the deepest lake in the U.S. but also the clearest lake in the world. It’s magnificent.
After walking the limited area of the rim that is not closed due to snow, I moved on late in the day to the tiny town of Chiloquin.
This is my rendezvous point with the WINS and home for the next several days.