the steadfast beauty of crater lake

Jul 10, 2011

the drive to Crater Lake

Seeing that I shared a few images of our visit to Crater Lake last year, I wasn't planning on posting pictures of the lake from this week's trip.  Alas, it's just too beautiful not to share!   

Crater Lake is a very pure lake.  It's basically a large bowl (6 miles wide) of rain water.  And, it is the most incredible blue I've ever seen in nature.  The vibrant color is due to the lake's depth and clarity.  The lake is about 2000 feet deep, and the water clarity has been measured at a depth of nearly 150 feet!

I love the sharp contrast of colors and textures around the lake's edge.  It's what inspired me to create this piece a few months ago. . .

The lake is at 6000 feet elevation, so there is snow on the ground throughout most of the year.  It takes months to just dig out the roads, with drift depths ranging from 40 - 60 feet. 

When the roads are clear, one can drive around the caldera rim, which is a 33 mile loop.  When he was a young chap, my father-in-law used to drive a tour bus on this scenic route.  Just for thrills, he would drive the bus of tourists right up to the edge of the road, which is essentially a drop-off.

The caldera rim is 7000 - 8000 feet tall, with Watchman Peak being one of the highest points on the rim.  If you look closely, there is a lookout station [built in 1932] perched atop the peak.  At 8000 feet, undoubtedly it has one of the most spectacular viewpoints of the lake and its surroundings.

The lake has great spiritual significance to the Native Americans in the region.  Individuals of the Klamath tribe would trek to the lake as part of a vision quest, or spiritual journey.  Standing on the caldera rim of Crater Lake, it is not difficult to see how one is moved spiritually.  As I scan the vast and glorious landscape, nothing my eyes fall upon has been made by man.  It's a humbling thought, for sure, but one that also grounds me. 

Inspired by my travels and experiences this week, I'll share tomorrow my latest art work called Quest.


Sally said...

Hi Cathy, thanks for sharing such a special place again! As I may never get to see it myself, reading your blog is the second best thing!

HomeCollection. said...

Ah this is beautiful!
I wanted to go there while i was in Portland and i've never found the time to drive to this area..
But one day I'll go!

resolute twig said...

Beautiful photos! looks like a wonderful trip.

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