Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Crater Lake National Park

My DH really planned a wonderful romantic trip for our anniversary. We took a drive Friday afternoon south to Crater Lake National Park. The lodge was renovated in 90's, has a fabulous dining room, veranda with rocking chairs and serves drinks, starters and dessert. A 33 mile drive around the rim of the lake with more than 30 viewpoints of the parks volcanic scenery, which we did Saturday morning. Mount Mazama, the volcano that collapsed to form Crater Lake. If you gathered up the ash from Mount Mazama's catastrophic eruption and spread it evenly across the state of Oregon, it would form a layer 8 inches thick.
First off we had a wonderful drive in a friends convertible for the two hour drive to the park.
The temperature about 90 degrees made for perfect conditions.
The park ranger posed for a picture, isn't she cute and a good sport.

We noticed smoke on the turn-off from the highway, a fire had started recently and another one started the night before. Lightening two weeks earlier most likely the cause. The HotShot crews from Redmond, Redding and Klamath were called in to fight the new blaze.

There is still a bit of snow, which I guess is common for this time of year, elevation around 7000 ft.
The lodge, renovated and really inviting.
This is a view of the front, the lake is directly behind the lodge and our room was on the back side with views of the lake. :))
The view out our window that evening. The windows are new but still the same original size and style. There were historical pictures in the room instead of art. I loved the history they kept in the restoration. Below our window was the veranda with the rocking chairs, reproductions of the original chairs set out for relaxing and enjoying the lake views.

The window mouldings are made from trees, very unique.
The tree pillars go from one end of the lodge to the other, this fireplace is in the lobby.
Stairway leading to the 2nd floor rooms. Walls had the bark wood just like the window moulding.

No pictures of dinner, but it was wonderful. I had pork loin with blueberry sauce, saffron orzo , steamed broccoli and asparagus vegetables. Joe had the venison and was in heaven.
After dinner we started a walk with this point as our destination. We were told this was the place to be at sunset.Joe took my picture and was trying to send it to our friends. At this point we realized a major mistake on our part. The mosquitoes were numerous and very hungry, we did not bring bug spray. So no stopping or you were bait for sure. Even with a fast walk we were swatting away. Joe has shorts on, I had 3/4 length pants that helped a lot. Remember all that snow, mosquito breeding grounds.
More than half way there we saw more snow and were really losing the battle with the bugs.
So at this point we gave up and took flight down the hill to the lodge. LOL......
We took a seat on the veranda and ordered dessert, Marionberry, blueberry and blackberry cobbler with Huckleberry ice cream. Yummo....!!!! So much for a low sugar diet, but it was so good.
Next morning we were greeted with sunrise out our window. 5:45 brought first light and before the sun came over the east rim we had alot of color thanks to the smoke.
Just a few minutes later the sun was breaking over the rim.
After breakfast I took a couple pictures of the lake, this out the bedroom window.
This is the view out the bathroom window, of Wizard Island.
We started off on our 33 mile drive around the rim. Vidae Falls, really had alot of water from all the snow melt.
You need a wide angle lens to get the full effect of Crater lake. My little silver didn't do to bad.

A little ways up the road was a small water fall, I am sure this one drys up by late August. They get there first snow in September and the annual snowfall is 44 feet. Amazing.
We were pleased to experience the wild flowers in full bloom. They are so beautiful, it isn't like some lush gardens but the color they add to the landscape was wonderful to see.
This is a view from Phantom Ship Overlook. Near the southeastern shore is Crate Lake's "other island". It resembles a small pirate ship, the island is as tall as a 16-story building. The oldest exposed rock within the Caldera.
This island is older than Wizard Island.
This tree has very unique cones. The evergreens in the park were wonderful.
Pumice Castle Overlook, we had a little visitor. The click of you tongue and up it would come. When I was very young 2-3 years old we lived in Klamath Falls, we came here with my grandparents and I remember the rock walls and chipmunks. Joe calls them Timber Tigers, they are so cute.
Southern views along the drive show the vast park and views off toward Klamath Lake.
Cloudcap Overlook, the blue of the lake is really awesome. One viewpoint told about the water color. When you look into water the clarity and depth of the water absorbs the colors, blue is the last color to be absorbed. That it what makes Crater Lake so blue. I took so many pictures of the blue, The lakes depth is 1,943 feet and 4.5 to 6 miles wide. Last time the lake froze over was 1949.
Wildflowers are all over, along the road, parking areas even in the cracks of the pavement.

Isn't the lake just amazing. And big, I really wish I had that wide angle lens.
Cleetwood Cove, this is where you would walk 700 feet down to the water to catch a boat ride. We didn't do it this time, Joe just had knee surgery and can't take the impact walking (sliding down) and I would die hiking back up. Lucky me Joe had knee surgery. LOL...... I'll just relax under this cool Juniper and watch.
Well like all good things, it comes to an end. But not before we see all the hard working firefighters coming in after a long nights work.
This is one park we will return to often. It is amazing and we didn't see it all. The Pinnacles is one place we must experience. Formed during the same eruption that gave birth to the lake, they are colorful volcanic spires. It would have been a mile hike in and out and again Joe's that gives us something to look forward to, besides the 700 foot hike down to the water. Hmmm.......better get to riding my bike more I think.
For more information check out the website
All my facts came from the Visitor Guide we received upon entering the park.
Summer Blessings,


Stina said...

Ahhh.. Love the pictures.. so beautiful mother Nature can be!!! :o)

Carol said...

Carrie what beautiful pictures...thank you for taking us along on your anniversary trip.

Carrie P. said...

What a tremendous place to spend your anniversary. It looked like you two had a very Happy One.
Crater Lake is awesome.

Judy S. said...

Happy Anniversary, Carrie, just a wee bit late. It sounds like you had a wonderful weekend. We love Crater Lake and also the drive from there to Diamond Lake. Such lovely scenery! Your photos brought back nice memories, thanks.

Libby said...

Such stunning scenery - the perfect place for your getaway *s*

yellowfarmhouse said...

WOW WOW WOW - I'm just catching up on your blog. Beautiful pictures from the quilt show and this trip you were on - stunning photography, I can only imagine what it looks like in person. Happy Anniversary to you both - what a wonderful trip to celebrate it.

Hugs - Karen

Lori said...

It is beautiful! We used to visit my grandparents in Fort Klamath and we'd all go visit Crater Lake. It's been far too long since I've been there. Thanks for sharing your fabulous photos.

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