Monday, August 27, 2012

Crater Lake National Park

So there's many stories here about Crater Lake. I have been there before, but I don't remember it. I was *cough* years old and according to my parents, they tried SO hard to get my nose out of my book and apparently failed, infuriating them.

I assure you, my nose was nowhere near a book this time. I had my camera poised and ready. And I saw things that even they didn't see during our last visit.

Let me start from the beginning - Crater Lake, once upon a time was a mountain. Then a massive volcanic eruption basically inverted the mountain into a basin and centuries of rain and snow filled the crystal clear caldera to form Crater Lake.  It is the nation's deepest lake and it is stunning in its blue beauty.

Our first stop was Vidae Falls - along the side of the road:

Vidae Falls

Our second waterfall visit was also our first, more tame, hike. This waterfall was only recently discovered. The trail is called Plaikni Falls, and it is well worth it. The waterfall is gorgeous and the wildflowers that bloom on its banks gorgeous:

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park

And then, my companion, L, convinced me to do a CRAZY hike. He really wanted to hike down to see the lake. I'm really glad we did because the smoky haze from the nearby wildfires was drifting in and ruining our beautiful view. The Cleetwood Cove hike (down to the lakefront) is 2.2 miles and drops 700 feet in those 2.2 miles. It is crazy steep and we proudly re-climbed the trail in a surprising 45 minutes. And that's with generous stops and a very slow, snail-like place on our ascent. Mostly the stops had to do with rehydrating our mouths from the incredibly dusty trail.

Not only did we get to enjoy the crystal clear water but we also discovered that crayfish live there! I swear we (I) spent most of the time stalking crayfish:

Crater Lake National Park   Crater Lake National Park

Some are even blue:

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park

After our rear-kicking hike, we drove around the rest of the rim and enjoyed views of Wizard Island:

Crater Lake National Park

Phantom Ship:

Phantom Ship

And the Pinnacles:

The Pinnacles

The Pinnacles

Crater Lake, though only 33 miles in circumference - the length of Rim Drive) is stunningly beautiful. I guess my parents were right about enjoying its beauty.

But I guess my then stubbornness lead to a greater appreciation as an adult and as photographer. Plus, I they hadn't.

Here are the rest of the pictures from my trip to Crater Lake.

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