Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 5 - To Crater Lake

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Yesterday there was nothing to report. We just stayed around the RV doing some chores and planning. We currently only have 2 weeks in August that are unplanned.

Today we did the short but picturesque drive to our campground at Diamond Lake RV Park just north of Crater Lake. It was an almost constant gentle climb from about 2000 feet above sea level in Grant’s Pass to about 5000 feet at the campground.





After quickly setting up we headed to the Crater Lake visitor’s center at the Rim Village around 1 pm.


If you don’t know about Crater Lake, it was created when a volcano with a huge pocket of lava under it exploded and the mountain collapsed into the pocket as the lava escaped. It used to be 12000 feet high and lost 1 mile in height. The only larger North American volcanic explosion was the Yellowstone super volcano. This one made Mount St. Helen’s looked like nothing. The resulting 6 mile wide crater is an almost perfect bowl. The snow and rain eventually filled it with water. It is now the 7th deepest lake in the world and one of the clearest. There is an island in the lake which is a cinder cone that rose after the main explosion. Lesson over.

Well all I can say is WOW! My first view was right up there close to my first view of the Grand Canyon. It took my breath away.  The water is a very deep blue. On top of that there was very little wind. It was like a mirror. Pictures just do not do it justice.

If you ever get a chance to come here DO IT.






As you can see there is still a lot of snow here. Normally they get over 400 inches of snow each year and the trails and the road around the rim opens in early June.  This year they got over 600 inches and the road won’t be open all the way around until late July. Currently the road is half open but all the hiking trails are still closed.



We watched a video on the snow removal operation. They can usually clear about 1/4 mile a day. The road is 30 feet wide and the snow is 30 feet deep. That means they move over 1 million cubic feet of snow every day. Altogether they have about 37 miles of rim and access roads to clear.

You know the snow gets deep when the say “Please don’t walk on the roof”.


Even with the snow and being at about 7500 foot elevation it was quite warm. We were very comfortable in shorts and T-shirts.

We checked out several of the viewpoints.




People were climbing up this hill to the building at the top. The view must have been amazing but we were not up to it.






We stayed so long just staring that is was about 7:30 before we got back to the RV.

On the way back we did a quick stop at the massive flat field of pumice that had been filed in by the volcano.


Another amazing day.

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