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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Crater Lake National Park

Aloha Everyone,

This morning, we were awoken to this incessant buzzing sounds. When I looked out, it looked like enormous bumble bees were buzzing around just outside of our window. Upon closer look, however, the bumble bees turned out to be about six hummingbirds flying in and out of holly bushes in search of nectar. Hummingbirds have iridescent color feathers and flap their wings about 50 to 80 times per second. They are usually 3 - 5 inches in length. I hope to capture one in flight soon!

We took Highway 97 to 62 in the direction of Crater Lake National Park. Just as we were about to enter the mountainous area, I telephoned my Mother, emailed our children to let them know that we might be incommunicado for the next 24 hours as our plan was to spend the night in the national forest.

Roads inside the Crater Lake National Park is excellent. Many of the vista points are designed as pull-through. However J.J. says that the surface of the road is paved with rough gravel-like material to provide better traction during winter.Tough on the tire the rest of the year. At our first vista point, J.J. cleaned the windshield to remove many insects that unfortunately dove in to their demise.

Here are a few facts in the official Visitor Guide provided by the U. S. Department of Interior about the Crater Lake National Park:

1)  It is the deepest lake in the United States with approximately 1,943 feet deep at deepest point.
2)  Created as a result of a massive volcanic eruption 7,700 years ago.  
3)  The lake is actually a caldera (belly of the erupted volcano) and its water was filled by centuries of rain and snow. 
4)  Annual average snowfall is 44 ft. Yes, feet.
5)  Rim drive is 33 miles.  However due to road closures because of a forest fire and repairs, we were unable to circle the lake.

J.J. and I checked in at the Mazama Village Campground, the only available camp ground within this national park. Approximately 75% of the camping sites (RV and tent) are reserved and the remaining 25% are on a first come-first serve basis. Following the site map we were given, J.J. and I drove around each of the 6 loops to choose the site we liked. We noted the solar panels on wheels.

After our lunch of roast beef and pepper cheese from the Safeway Deli on bagel with cream cheese and yogurt, we went on a drive around the rim of the lake. Our first stop was Discovery Point where we can get an overview of the lake and Wizard Island. I have not been able to find out where the name derived from but perhaps the shape of the island resembles a Wizard's hat.

Mike and Lisa were on a week-long holiday from Torrance, CA. J.J. took their photos and we in turn asked them to take ours.

I am 5' and 1/3" per my last check-up 5 months ago. So you can figure by this snow plow marker how much snow is expected.

Due to on-going road constructions and repairs, we had to make the Phantom Ship as the last stop of our rim drive. J.J. and I hiked one half mile up to the rim where we can see the Phantom Ship. One of the visitors said, "Maybe, after 3 beers, the island could look like a ship." Will let you be the judge of it.

On the return walk, I stood on the trunk of a large pine tree that was spongy and not a very sold ground for my modified tree pose.

The temperature is expected to go down below 40 degrees F. It is peaceful and inhaling the scent of pine makes one feel alive.

Aloha -- Cathi