Travel Photo Thursday: Lake in A Rain Barrel

Travel Photo Thursday: Lake in A Rain Barrel

3D Lake ModelNearly 8,000 years ago, Mount Mazama, in what is today the State of Oregon, “did a Mount St. Helens.” Like its cousin to the north in the Cascade mountains which “blew its top” in 1980, Mount Mazama sent huge chunks of itself flying into the sky in a cataclysmic eruption.

But while Mount St. Helens resembles the remains of a ceramic bowl which had big pieces broken off when it was carelessly dropped onto a stone floor, what’s left of Mount Mazama looks more like a dome-shaped cake that had its top-third sliced off and its inner core of cream filing scooped out.

As a result, the centerpiece of Crater Lake National Park, whose official “tagline” is “Like No Place Else on Earth,” is a volcanic “rain barrel” partially filled with deeply blue waters.

North Rim View

A road runs from south to north around the rim of the caldera. Although it doesn’t make a complete circle above the lake or reach its eastern side, there are plenty of pull-outs where visitors can hop out of their cars and walk a short distance to get great views of the lake and the “baby” volcano named Wizard Island that juts high above the surface of the lake.

Watchman View

In 1973, I stayed in the historic lodge that had been built almost on the very edge of Crater Lake’s crater. It had deteriorated over the years of its life, and was  in danger of collapsing under the weight of winter snows, perhaps falling into the lake itself.

Crater Lodge Rear

The lodge was eventually closed down, parts disassembled and numbered, and the place was rebuilt in a a much sturdier fashion, while retaining the classic rustic style of architecture that was the hallmark of the original building.

You never know when it will be “Winter” at Crater Lake. After days of 100+ temperatures up and down the West Coast during a late July visit to Southern Oregon several years ago, sunshine turned to rain, which then turned to snow as I left the “lowlands” of Ashland, drove through Medford, and then climbed the long, winding road up the flank of the Crater Lake to the rim.

Phantom Ship Sails

On yet another trip to Southern Oregon one September, I experienced all fours seasons in a week. It was raining when I stopped for the night in the motel-type lodgings at the bottom of Crater Lake National Park, snowing so heavily the next day that I couldn’t drive up to the rim, and then over the following three days it became spring, then summer, and finally fall again.

When you go to Crater Lake, “You pays your money and you takes your chances,” weather-wise.

The Great Hall

The good news, baby, is that if it’s cold outside, you can sit by the stone fireplace inside and have a drink in the warmth of the Great Hall before enjoying fine cuisine in the lodge’s dining room.

(Click on an image to enlarge to full-size. Visit Budget Travelers Sandbox for more of this week’s Travel Photo Thursday shots.)

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7 Replies to “Travel Photo Thursday: Lake in A Rain Barrel”

    1. Mary, if you want to stay in the Crater Lake Lodge on the rim this season, you should definitely book ASAP. Their season is short, they do have bus tours bringing in visitors, and the lodge is very popular due to its fantastic location.

  1. Wow – it looks like an amazing place! I’ve never been to the north west, but hoping to make it there soon. Crater Lake will definitely be on the list of places to visit!

  2. The blue of that lake is amazing. That fireplace would be especially inviting after a day of experiencing the four seasons 🙂 Thanks for linking to Travel Photo Thursday this week!

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