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Crater Lake

Crater Lake

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Published by Paul Richardson
Crater Lake in late June was more winter than summer but still a great place to visit.
Crater Lake in late June was more winter than summer but still a great place to visit.

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Published by: Paul Richardson on Sep 27, 2012
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04/08/2013

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Crater Lake
 Wizard Island in Crater Lake, Oregon
Paul Richardson2012
 
 We decided in late June to visit Crater Lake. Debora had been there briefly on a family vacation as a young girl and wanted to go back. I had never been there, but also wanted to go. We made arrangements to take twograndchildren with us who lived in Salem, Oregon. We drove down fromSeattle and picked them up and were on our way. Since Crater Lake is asignificant drive from I-5 we decided to stay overnight in Sutherlin beforedriving over to the national park the next morning. The motel we chose
had an indoor pool which the grandkids just loved. “Aren’t you hungry?” We would ask them and their reply was, “we want to swim more.”
  We set off the next morning after breakfast and promising the kids that we would let them swim that evening again after returning from the park. Wetook the road connecting with the north entrance to Crater Lake NP. Itfollowed a river most of the way and there were signs every few miles tohike off to see a waterfall. We had visited the falls east of Portland the weekend before so we were focused on getting to Crater Lake.The day was cloudy and threatening rain. As we entered the north end of the park we realized that our summer trip was really a winter trip as far asCrater Lake was concerned. Did this dampen our spirits? Not really, thekids who live in Salem and see very little snow in a normal winter, both wanted to stop and play in the snow. We did stop once before getting to thelake and they enjoyed making snowballs and playing in the big snow driftsnext to the road. We gained elevation steadily as we got closer to theremnants of the volcanic cone forming the rim around the lake. Westopped at several vantage points but the view of the lake was very limitedas we were mostly above the clouds. At the Rim Village Visitor Center we were able to see more of the lake and
the famous Wizard Island, so named because it resembles a wizard’s hat.
 We walked around the rim for bit and experienced cold rain and some
periods of wet, heavy snow. At the visitor’s center we saw a movie about
the Indian legends associated with the formation of the lake, the history of its exploration and perhaps most interesting the annual major project toplow the snow off the rim road. They had only cleaned the roads on the west side at that time and were still working on the 40 feet of heavy snow 
 
on the east side of the crater. The video of guys driving big Caterpillartracked earthmovers on roads barely wide enough to hold them with a steepdrop to the downhill side made you wonder how much they had to pay them to take the risk. They showed another much used piece of gear they used on the snow clearing operation, a huge rotary plow/snow blower. Itreminded me of the ones developed for use clearing railroad routes in deepsnow country. Addison and Scott, Wizard Island

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