We packed up last night after a four-day break from the road in Bend, and pulled out the driveway at 5:30 to try and catch the sun rise at Crater Lake National Park. It was a beautiful drive through Oregon, watching the fog lift from the forests.
Once through the gate, the drive up is not for the faint of heart... no guard rails and cliffs on both sides, but the view of this natural wonder is breathtaking. When we arrived, four very sleepy kids and three adults were in awe.
A few interesting facts we learned about Crater Lake: It's isolated from surrounding streams and rivers, thus there is no inlet or outlet to the lake. It's 1,943 feet deep, which makes it the deepest lake in the United States, and the ninth deepest lake in the world! For approximately 400,000 years, volcanic eruptions here built up a 10,000 - 12,000 foot mountain now called Mt. Mazama. 7,700 years ago, the volcano erupted in a cataclysmic eruption. During this eruption, so much material was evacuated from the internal magma chamber that afterwards, there was not enough left to support the remaining mountain. It collapsed and created the hole - the caldera - that we now see today half filled with water. And did you know it has the freshest air of anywhere in the world?? Neither did we! But we took full advantage, stretching and doing a little yoga, with my 10-year-old niece instructing.
On to Redwoods!