Friday, October 16, 2009

Crater Lake



After we enjoyed the Office Covered Bridge (we don't know why it is called Office Bridge), we proceeded east to the main highway north/south through central Oregon, Highway 97. On the way, we passed lots of lovely mossy trees and rode along the blue green waters of the river. The sun was shining and the leaves were beginning to turn gold and orange.


We turned onto Highway 97 and drove a short ways, enjoying the farm lands, when we came to a stop in traffic due to an accident ahead. Trucks and campers and cars were lined up as far as we could see. After sitting in the car for a while, expecting to move again momentarily, we began to wonder what was going on. People were getting out of their cars and passing what information they had; truckers advised us to turn around if we could. The highway had been closed already for 2.5 hours and the tow trucks hadn't arrived yet. [ I have since learned that 2 motorcyclists, 49 years old, were returning to Reno from visiting friends in Washington and were hit when a 69 year-old man in an oncoming SUV pulled out to pass a semi truck, killing the two motorcyclists and injuring the man's wife severely. A very sad story.]

Trip to Reno Map

Although it seemed counter intuitive, we turned around and headed back to the turn off to Crater Lake. It was the only other road that could get us out of there. Much of the year, the road at the north end of Crater Lake is closed due to snow, but now at the end of summer it was open and so beautiful! My husband, though long an Oregonian, had never seen Crater Lake, so it was a fulfillment of a wish for him, albeit not a timely one.

As we crested the top of the drive, suddenly we saw the remarkable blue lake beside us. It was rimmed in rock which glowed in the late afternoon sun. It appeared to be stage lighting! My husband pulled over into a viewpoint and we immediately took pictures. The wind was very cold and strong at the top!

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Crater Lake was formed when the volcano Mt. Mazama blew up thousands of years ago. The 8000-9000 foot high caldera is partially filled with water, roughly 1,958 feet, making it the deepest lake in the United States. The lake reaches 5 to 6 miles across. It is known for its remarkable deep blue color, clarity, and water purity. The island in the lake is Wizard Island, a platform caused by subsequent lava eruptions. The area is now a national park.

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As we left the park and the  alpine trees and high winds, pellets of snow began to hit our windshield. It won't be long until winter, we thought. Not here. 09-10-02-16-46-34H  09-10-02-16-46-54H

So we drove down the highway, heading southeast toward Reno once again, and connected up with Hwy 97 south of the accident, south of Chiloquin.  09-10-02-17-18-47H

The road was free of cars so we knew the highway was still closed further back. We drove on into the night, reaching Reno and our hotel at 11:30 PM.  09-10-03-23-49-22H09-10-03-23-51-27H

I still have one more ‘golden link” in my chain  to share with you next time!


Steven said...

Looks like they left the light on for you - that was nice. You should do a simple little picture and story book, Holly. You have such a nice style. :)

Hollace said...

Thanks, Steve. I would like to do a "Travel the Backroads" book or even a train trip book or "Beach Cottages to Love", but I can't just run away from home. Sigh.
We didn't stay at Circus Circus as the picture suggests--we stayed in a time share which was much more sedate and smoke-free. The lights inside the Casinos are an electrician's dream (nightmare?) Amazing!
Thanks for your nice comment.

Stef said...

Hi, i got to your blog via my mum's own journal (Lusks on Livejournal) and thought i'd leave a wee note to say how much I enjoyed reading about your trip. Crater lake looks magnificent :) Thanks for sharing! Stef

Rowan said...

What stunning photos, it looks a really beautiful area. Oregon is a state I'd like to visit one of these days.

Hollace said...

Rowan, I hope you do come. I would love to show you around our beautiful state and you could explore all the history you want, although we're only 150 years old except for the native Americans, compared to your ancient history in England. But it is still beautiful and interesting to see. I hope you will let me know when you are on your way!

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