June 2, 2019
Sunday morning we left Weed, California and made our way up on US 97 to Crater Lake National Park. US 97 is also named Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, because it runs east of Interstate 5 along all the volcano/mountain chains up in the Pacific Northwest. Our morning started with a big treat for us. The Sun was shining, the sky was clear, and Mount Shasta looked stunning with its snow-covered top(s). Most mountains have no caps anymore, because they were blown away from a volcanic eruption or weathering in this region. It leaves these mountains with two or more tops, which is sometimes hard to tell, which one is the highest point, the summit.
Beautiful Mount Shasta
Mount Shasta (left), Mount Eddy in the background, and Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway (US 97)
Once we’ve made it to Crater National Park, we’ve noticed lots of snow along the roadway. I said to Kevin to take a break and let the kids play in the snow for a little bit. The girls had so much fun sticking their fingers in the frozen white and having a small snowball fight. The fun was over, when Sara threw snow in Katelynn’s mouth. It was time to move on. Sara got some Karma later, when I threw a small snowball on the back of her head at the lake. It didn’t hurt her, because the snow was soft. But it made her think twice being a stinker to her older sibling.
SNOW!!! Yes, the Crater Lake National Park still has a good layer of snow in June.
Canyon along Anne Creak with what’s left of Mount Mazama in the background
Sara and Katelyn haven’t seen snow for so long, they had to play in it for little bit. Air temperature: 70 Fahrenheit (21 Celsius).
Katelynn is about 5’2″ (157 cm). That’s a lot of snow on the side of the street next to the Crater Lake.
When we saw the lake, we were mesmerized by its blue mirror reflecting water; the size of the caldera,; the big cone “Witch Cauldron” on Wizard Island; and the snow, which was still on the ground in the beginning of June. I’m happy, that the true love of my life took me to this lake. About 25 years ago, my son’s father supposed to take me to this lake. As a matter of fact, he lives in Oregon. But it didn’t work out. So here we go. Kevin made it possible for me to see this beautiful work of nature.
Crater Lake I
Crater Lake II
“Stretch a bit more, Kevin! You need to get us all in there including the Witches Cauldron on Wizard Island!”
Wizard Island is one of the two cones in Crater Lake. The other, smaller Merriam Cone is still 505 feet (154 m) below the average lake level.
Alvin is our Crater Lake Tour Guide for the day.
Beautiful reflecting Crater Lake
Crater Lake is with a depth of 1,949 feet (594 meters) the deepest lake in the United States of America. The caldera was formed when the Mount Mazama volcano collapsed approximately 7,700 years ago. It is filled with water due to heavy rain and snowfalls. Therefore the water is crystal clear and reflects blue due to the BIV (blue, indigo, violet) in the solar radiation interaction. The lake has two islands: Wizard Island and Phantom Ship. There is also a great chance that the volcano will erupt again, in the future.
From Crater Lake National Park, we drove past Mount Thielsen, which has a very interesting looking summit. While capturing photos of it, I ran into a guy from Oklahoma. We had a little conversation about Oregon and Washington, before our ways separated again. It’s nice seeing people from home or a neighboring state. We always have something in common.
Mount Mazama, or better what is left of it after the volcanic explosion, 7,700 years ago.
Wild Strawberry Blossoms
Sea Pink Blossoms
Blue Lupine in Oregon
Soon, we’ve made it to Eugene. There we went back on Interstate 5 to drive to Portland. Our motel was on the other side of the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington. My long-time friend, David, was waiting for us, so we all could have dinner together. It was wonderful to see him after over 26 years, again. We had a lot of years to catch up. Kevin and David talked about Seattle and the Army. I’ve never have seen David talking so much, when he was younger. But it was fantastic. He’s back home and in his environment. We’ve all enjoyed the conversations. After guiding us to the motel, David said, we should visit on our way back from Seattle. That way, we could also meet his wife. So, Kevin and I planned a lunch in Vancouver for Wednesday. There is always some room on our trips for being spontaneous. Especially with kids, we have to be flexible.
The Portland Aerial Tram support tower at Interstate 5
Oregon Convention Center
It was so nice seeing David after all these years, again. We haven’t seen each other for over 26 years. And that was, when we both were still in Germany.
… to be continued …