Sunday, July 26, 2015

deep blue sea

Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the U.S. at 1946 feet.
The rim at its highest is roughly the same 1900 feet above the water. 
It's also the clearest lake in the world with visibility of over 100 feet. 
When the sun comes out, so do the colors. 
I saw people swimming despite the surface temperature of 59 degrees. 
It was created not by a meteor but by a volcanic eruption 7700 years ago, 100 times that of Mt St Helens in 1980 and perhaps the largest eruption and collapse in history. 
Everything about Crater Lake is filled with superlatives. 

The formations have fanciful names like phantom ship (above). The ranger on our boat was a geologist who pointed out all the layers of sediment and lichens (the light green on the Pallisades below) and erosion and seepage. 
This is Wizard Island, the volcano inside the volcano. A bunch of tourists on a fishing trip were waiting to be picked up. Rainbow trout and salmon were introduced. Apparently there's now a bit of a crayfish problem(!). 
All in all, a pretty blissful spot. 
True blue in every direction. 
Surrounded by forests. You can see why the Klamath people considered it sacred. 

PS: I've wanted to go to Crater Lake for years. I've talked about with John and Jill in Ashland. I've flown over it. But what finally got me here was my trip to Quilotoa, a very pretty but much smaller crater lake at 13,000 feet elevation in Ecuador. My misadventures there are recorded in this post.