Sunday, July 4, 2010
Oregon Day IV: The Majestic Crater Lake
After a three day long journey along the coast I finally reached the ultimate destination of my trip, Crater Lake National Park. This park represents a world of contrasts: The enormous volcanic crater is filled with one of the clearest and deepest lakes in the world and the jagged rim lies at about 8000 feet (2100 meters!) above sea level. The park receives an average of 44 feet (or 14.5 meters) of snow annually and the snow often lasts long into the summer months (no kidding!). They have constructed a 31.5 mile long two-lane road all around the rim of the crater, but unfortunately this spring had been record cold so half the rim loop was closed off due to snow.
And there it was! What a view!
The air space over the crater was patrolled by Turkey Vultures (below) and Bald Eagles:
I totally fell in love with this guy. He was just sitting in a tree next to the road waiting for someone to feed him, and did not hesitate accepting bread crumbs from my hand:
Had I known that the eastern half of the rim road was closed off at the southern access road I would have spent more time at the northern and western end of the crater, but since I would have to go all the way back the same way and the roads were getting crowded with tourists from all around the world I decided to just keep going to my next destination. The deep snow cover had kept a lot of the normal residents away from the higher altitude areas, so I figured I had seen most of the species possible to see in the Park.
Next stop Klamath Marsh!