22 July 2006 Saturday

We took a scenic drive along the UmpquaRiver.  It is a really beautiful river in a deep canyon.  Thisarea is very lush and rainforest-like, similar to North Carolina.  Steephillsides covered in thick forests and ferns.  This is a big fishing area,we saw lots of fishermen out along the banks of the river.  It rained thismorning along our drive and a thick fog hung over the river.  Verydifferent from the deserts in the Southwest.

We got into Crater Lake and begandriving up and up.  Crater Lake is actually a caldera. The volcano MtMazama may have been over 14,000 feet high at one time, but the volcano wasvery active and had several side vents.  When these side vents opened up,drained the magma (lava) out and the whole top of the mountain collapsed. The resulting caldera filled with rain and snowmelt.  Crater lake has noother water source, no streams flow into it and no streams flow out of it, onlysnowmelt and rain. The water is very deep, very blue, very pure.  And very beautiful.

There are a few other features within the lake.  Wizard Island is kindof a volcano within a volcano, within the lake.  It’s a cinder cone thatbegan rising and became dormant.  It’s now covered with trees andfoliage.  Another feature within the lake is the Phantom Ship.  ThePhantom Ship blends into the surrounding steep caldera walls at many angles, disappearinglike a phantom.  They offer a boat tour to get to these features that we’regoing to check out later.

We got info on the park and made our plans for the next couple of days. We hiked Annie Creek Canyon.  We had trouble finding the trailheadinitially, it starts in the campground.  We aren’t staying at thecampground.  We started hiking down into the canyon and swatting hundredsof mosquitoes.  As we hiked down into the canyon, we saw the beautifullittle creek, Annie Creek, and it’s wet, marshy shores.  Prime breeding’skeeter breedin’ areas.  We were hiking fast and swatting skeeters evenfaster!   I stopped to take a photo on occasion and feel like I lostblood each time.  We finally survived the 1.7 mile loop hike, but weprobably gave up a pint of blood each.  

We got back to Mazama Village where we parked and bought a couple of showers,75 cents for four minutes of water.  We drove just outside the park andfound a road on National Forest land (Your Public Land) and camped out for thenight.

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