DEEP BLUE LAKE
Crater Lake is the belly of a volcano that erupted some 7,700 years ago. The deep basin, that used to be the peak of Mount Mazama, then filled with centuries of rain and snow to produce the deepest lake in the United States. (park brochure)
As we approach the north entrance to the National Park, we drive 9 more miles to reach the rim.
The entire western side of the drive consists of charred forests, the result of a controlled burn in 2015 to contain a wildfire.
Suddenly the pine forests end and we encounter the pumice desert.
Finally we get our first breath-taking view of the lake in the morning mist!
The cone-shaped land mass in the center is called Wizard’s Island.
From the northern rim we begin our drive eastward so that all of the viewing pull-offs are an easy right turn.
The next pictures are from Cleetwood Cove, named after the boat used in 1886 to determine the lake’s depth. Led by Clarence Dutton of the U. S. Geological Survey, the Cleetwood Expedition used a simple wooden sounding device to lower a section of pipe attached to piano wire. They calculated the depth to be 1,996 feet. Today’s sonar equipment records the depth as 1,943 feet, a mere 53 feet difference! (park brochure)
As we approach the southern rim of Crater Lake we continually smell a giant campfire, feel a burning in our eyes, and see a smoky cast out on parts of the lake.
In the following picture, the rock in the forefront is Skell Head and the smoky mist in the background forms a veil around Wizard Island.
We make a pit stop and I find some interesting views that are not water.