Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Windy Day at Crater Lake

Today it was windy.  The wind ripples the surface of the lake so there is no reflection.  The color of the lake changes too, moving from the deep cobalt blue to more of a royal blue.  Still - very intense.

I have been seeing a peak in the distance but wasn't sure what it was.  I am now sure.  It is Mt. Shasta in California, 105 miles away.

This is why I do not lean on trees to look into the gorges around here.  To quote an old Margot Kidder line, "you've got me? Who's got YOU?"  There is nuffink but air under that puppy.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Crater Lake Summer

Well, enough snow melted that I was able to get into the campground.  Yesterday, the folks behind me had a boy, 3 or 4, who was using an old skateboard from which the undercarriage had been removed to "snowboard" on the snow, about 3 feet deep, immediately behind Enterprise.  It is kind of strange to have temperatures in the 70's, strong sun, and snow on the ground.  At nighttime, it drops into the high 30's.

Anyway, enough about that.  I came here to see Crater Lake, as did many others.

I can't begin to describe the intensity of the blues in the lake.  The photos give a sense, but do not fully capture it.  Add to that the vastness, the quiet and the serenity... awesome.

Yesterday I drove to Watchman's Viewpoint to catch the sunset.  Approaching sunset, the lake looked very different.

The peak to the south has a fire watch tower on top.  Imagine hiking that to get your groceries!

Say goodnight, Gracie...

Normally, that would be the end of the post, but the folks in the car next to me had locked themselves out of their car.  They were dressed in light clothing, not suitable for nighttime above 7000 feet.  The temperature was dropping fast.  I asked how they were going to deal with it and learned that AAA was on its way, but would not get here for another 90 minutes.  It was windy and they were cold, and the sun had just set.  No way would it be safe for them to just wait there.  So, I invited them into my car and we visited for the next hour and a half until AAA showed up.  I guess there is still a bit of the Boy Scout in me.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Watta Day!

A front came through yesterday, giving unusually clear air.  Last night, Mt Jefferson yielded some remarkable shots as did Sisters - Mt. Multnomah ( You HAVE to enlarge this one!) and Mt. Hood 70 miles to the north.

I headed out this morning around 8:30, early for me, and got a few local shots.  I finally saw the reservoir flat enough to give me a reflection.

After breakfast, I drove north about 65 miles to a little pond called Little Crater Lake.  It is a spring that rises under pressure from a trapped porous layer on the southern slopes near Mt. Hood.  (Yes, those are trees on the bottom that have fallen in over the years.)

After a final shot of Mt. Hood reflected in a lake, it was time to head south.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Few Sunsets

At dusk, the sun lights up the eastern edge of the Palisades at Cove Palisades SP.

To the south a few days before, the sun caught the north edge of Mt Multnomah.

This is a favorite of mine.  It is looking west toward Mt Jefferson.  The clouds were pushing east through the passes of the Cascades.  They formed a beautiful "wave" breaking over the northerly flank of the volcano.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

High Desert Wildflowers

These were growing by the side of the road.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Salt Creek Falls Redux

I got my chance.  Today was mostly sunny and warm (68) with fluffy clouds.  Of course, by the time I made it to the Falls, the crest of the Cascades was more cloud than sun.  I didn't have blue sky for the photography but at least I could keep my camera dry -

until I got lower on the trail.  Then it got wet from the spray.

Per the USFS at http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/willamette/recreation/tripplanning/pointsofinterest/salt_creek_falls.html the falls are 286 feet high, the second highest in Oregon, and are the most powerful in southern Oregon.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Salt Creek Falls

Today was a cold, grey, rainy day - a good day for a car trip.  At the higher elevations I found new snow on the trees.
 In the middle of the Cascades is Salt Creek, flowing westward from the Willamette Pass.  At Salt Creek Falls it drops into a chasm that, per Google Earth is 300 feet from the walkway at the edge of the vertical drop next to the falls to the water below.  For comparison, Niagara Falls is about 160 feet.  The trail introduces you to the falls at the top, just upstream of the drop.
A trail winds around the northwesterly side of the cliffs, bringing you down to something near the base.  I followed it about 1/3 of the way for this shot.
I definitely want to go back on a day that is dry.  I hope that happens before it is time for me to leave here.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Vulcanism (My RV may be named Enterprise but this is NOT about Spock)

Newberry Caldera is from a massive shield volcano east of the line of volcanoes that form the spine of the Cascades.  Near its center is Paulina and East Lakes (see my last post), Big Obsidian and a number of other volcanic features such as lava flows and cinder cones.  To the north, the caldera spreads out with lava casts, lava tubes and lava flows.  One cinder cone is Lava Butte.  It rises 500' from the surrounding ground and has a 150' deep crater at the top.  The following photo is copied from a photo posted at the top of Lava Butte.  Note the road spiraling up to a parking lot at the top.

From the parking lot you can walk up to a fire watch building at the top of the cone.  From there, you can see into and across the crater and out over the lava field that stretches for miles from the Butte.

Off in the distance, other cinder cones project above the surrounding land.

As barren as the cinder cone appears, life still flourishes.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The La Pine area

I am at La Pine State Park.  The Deschutes River flows through the park.  I can't see it from my campsite, but it is only about 300 feet away.  Nearby, there is a bend in the river with an overlook.

About 15 miles to the east is the Newberry Caldera.  Within this caldera are two lakes, Paulina Lake and East Lake.  East Lake is pretty, and

Paulina Lake is spectacular.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mount McLoughlin

I just finished a week at the foot of Mount McLoughlin, at Willow Lake.  The view from my window was, to say the least, spectacular.

The lake is, by all indications, a good spot for fishermen.  It was for this particular fisherman.

For me, I saw it more as a palette upon which the colors of the forest and mountain were reflected -

at least when the air was calm, such as at sunset.

To the north are the western slopes of Mount Mazama, the remainder of the volcano that became Crater Lake.  The upper slopes are deep in ancient ash.  When that ash erodes, the result can be remarkable.  Here is one such ash area.  Those two trees are on the far side of the ravine and are perhaps 100 feet high each.  The pillars of ash are perhaps 20~30 feet across and perhaps 100~150 feet high.  I was right at the edge of the near side of the ravine and that soil is crumbly.  I was NOT about to hang onto a tree at the edge and lean out trying to see/photo the stream at the bottom of this thing.  This type of formation is apparently fairly common on the outer slopes of Mt Mazama near the crater.

If you use Google Earth, this ravine can be seen at 42 deg 53.75" N, 122 deg. 15.25' W.  Google Earth says it is about 200 feet deep, so my estimates may be off a bit.