Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Crater Lake - an Unexpected Surprise...

After leaving Ed's home we headed for yet another National Park - Crater Lakes. This was another two days of solid driving. I must admit the time on the road was starting to take its toll on me. At this point we had travelled for more than 4,000 miles in our trusty Subaru. We had already visited seven beautiful national parks. I was starting to dream of Gaylord street in Denver.....

Thankfully,  Garry remained tough and we continued our road trip because Crate Lakes was really beautiful - I was not expecting it to be so amazing.

The water inside the Crater was the most wonderful ultra marine blue - I called it Brett Whiteley Blue.

No place else combines a deep, pure lake, so blue in color, sheer surrounding cliffs, almost two thousand feet high; two picturesque islands; and a violent volcanic past. It is a place of immeasurable beauty.

Under the trees at our campground, we collected pine cones and really enjoyed the beautiful evenings around the fire together. Smores were a big hit with Yas and Max, while Garry and I really enjoyed the incredibly clear night skies.

We were lucky to spot some wildlife both at our camping ground and while exploring in and around the park. We spotted a little Squirrel, a Clarke's Nutcracker and even a Deer.

Besides the actual lake, we completed some hikes including one to Vidae Falls.

We also explored the rock formations known as the Pinnacles. These towering needle-like formations of rock, called fossil fumaroles, projecting from the Sand Creek Canyon floor, were formed under sheets of volcanic pumice that preceded Mazama's collapse.

As the surface of the hot pumice cooled over the years, steam and gases were released by the hot rocks underneath through vents and tubes that were welded into cement hardness by their passage. These ancient vents now stand alone due to the erosion of the surrounding softer materials.

After three nights and two full days exploring this National Park we said farewell and hit the road.

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