Today's Route: River Bridge Campground (6 miles N of Prospect, OR) to Crater Lake National Park (27 miles)
Total Trip Miles: 1,651
Today we entered Crater Lake National Park!
|At the entrance to Crater Lake National Park.|
Crater Lake was created 7,700 years ago, when 12,000 ft high Mount Mazama collapsed in a massive volcanic eruption. The explosion created a 4,000 ft deep caldera. The caldera later filled with water to create Crater Lake.
Crater Lake's deepest point is 1,943 ft, which makes it the deepest body of water in the Unites States and the seventh deepest lake in the world. The lake has no inlets or outlets. Rather, the lake is fed entirely by snowmelt and rainwater.
We camped at Mazama Village, about 6 miles shy of the lake. Ferit and Dilek met us at the village around noon. Alex hung out at the village, while Ferit, Dilek, and I hopped in the car to explore the many viewpoints along the west rim of the lake.
First, we drove to the Park Headquarters, where we watched a film on the creation of Crater Lake. We then drove to the Rim Village, were we had our first views of the lake.
Crater Lake is gorgeous beyond belief. Never before have I seen a lake whose water is so perfectly blue.
The Rim Village offers a great viewpoint of Wizard Island. Wizard Island is a volcanic cinder cone that protrudes 750 ft above the water. The cone is topped by a crater that is 590 ft wide and 100 ft deep. Though there are multiple cinder cones that rise from the floor of the caldera, the cone that forms Wizard Island is the only one that protrudes above the water's surface.
|Me, at the Rim Village viewpoint, with Wizard Island in the distance.|
|Ferit & Dilek, also at the Rim Village.|
After some sightseeing, we headed back to camp to make dinner. The mosquitoes were atrocious -- definitely the worst we've seen on this trip. Ferit was on a mission to kill every mosquito in camp.
|Ferit guards Dilek from the mosquitos, as Dilek prepares tonight's soup.|
You've likely heard that Alaska has quite the reputation for bad mosquitos. In fact, many people joke that the mosquito is the Alaska state bird. Alex, who grew up in Alaska, said that the mosquitos at our campsite were many, many times worse than the mosquitos in Alaska.
What's even worse is that we seemed to be the only people bothered by the mosquitos. Other folks around us seemed to be enjoying their evenings in peace.
Ferit made a fire so that he could roast eggplants for tonight's dinner. The smoke from the fire was only moderately successful at keeping the mosquitos at bay.
|Enjoying the fire, with my mug of wine.|
Tonight's dinner was absolutely amazing! Ferit and Dilek made an eggplant salad and yogurt soup. This far beats bean burritos from a can, which had been our primary meal before meeting up with Ferit and Dilek.
|Tonight's amazing dinner.|
Ferit and Dilek were going to roast some marshmallows for dinner. Learning that Dilek had never had S'mores before, Alex ran to the campground store to buy some graham crackers and Hershey's chocolate.
|Dilek loves her first ever S'Mores experience.|
What a great day! It's wonderful to be able to see s'more national parks that have been on my to-see list for years.