Finding Beauty with Imperfection

Category: Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake Boat Ride

On Saturday, July 15th, we enjoyed a two-hour boat ride around Crater Lake. Obtaining the tickets required patience and a lot of luck. The tickets went on sale 24 hours prior to the sailing time and were available for purchase at a kiosk inside the Crater Lake Lodge. We waited in line to purchase the 11:30 tickets and watched as they sold out after the first group of guests booked three seats. We decided to wait for the 12:00 tickets. As we waited, we began to strategize with the people in front of us. There were two groups ahead of us in line (6 people total) and the five of our group. We thought we might have a better chance of securing tickets the 11 tickets if we bought the tickets all together in one transaction. During the last few minutes, the number of tickets available went from 15 down to 11. There was so much stress! Promptly at noon, my new friends, Fiona, and I, input our 11 ticket request and I swiped my credit card. The transaction went through and we had 11 tickets! We all did a dance of joy, they gave me cash for the tickets, and we agreed to meet at the check in booth at 11am the next day to catch the boat. Yay!

Saturday morning, after checking in for the boat trip at the top of the Cleetwood Cove Trail, we walked down to the bottom of the trail. Because of the delicate nature of the sides of the crater, this is the only trail available to access the lake.

The walk down provided beautiful views of the lake.

Once we were on the boat, we had up close views of Wizard Island and the steep sides of the crater.

We also had the good fortune to see the “Old Man of the Lake”, a full-sized tree which is now a stump that has been bobbing vertically in the lake for over a century. According to our guide, the low temperature of the water has slowed the decomposition of the wood, enhancing the longevity of the bobbing tree working its way around the lake. It is considered lucky to be able to see the tree.

The boat tour also gave us views of a waterfall.

As well as a close up view of the Phantom Ship.

During the tour, we learned this was only the second day they were offering boat tours. We yet again felt very fortunate!

The hike back up the side of the crater wasn’t as easy as going down. We took our time and enjoyed the views!

That evening, we decided to return back to the east side of the rim to watch the sunset over the lake. We stopped at a few overlooks along the way.

Check out the wind! Flock of Seagulls strikes again!

Plus, a few pictures of us goofing around.

And then, there was sunset. Without the mosquitos that were swarming at the campsite.

Crater Lake – Day 1

Crater Lake National Park is located in south-central Oregon. The main feature of Crater Lake National Park is Crater Lake. Crater Lake is famous for its deep blue color and water clarity. Approximately 7,700 years ago, when Mount Mazama Volcano erupted, it exploded and then collapsed to form a caldera over 2,000 feet deep. It took about 250 years after the eruption for rain and snow to slowly fill the caldera and ultimately created Crater Lake. The island in the lake is Wizard Island. Wizard Island formed when a Cinder Cone Volcano erupted after the crater began to fill up. 

Crater Lake has no rivers flowing into or out of the lake. The evaporation rate equals the rain/ snowfall replenishment rates. The lake has a depth of 1,949 feet, making it the deepest in the U.S. and the ninth in the world. I took this picture looking down the steep sides of the caldera. The blue is the lake – not the sky! 

We spent three days/two nights in Crater Lake National Park. The first full day, 7/14, we were fortunate enough to secure tickets for the boat ride tour of the lake the next day, Saturday, 7/15. I will come back to that story in the next post, for now, I’ll just say, Fiona and I worked magic. 

After securing our boat tickets, we took a hike up to Garfield Peak. The trail was closed shortly before the peak but, we enjoyed amazing views along the way. 

One of the highlights was viewing the Phantom Ship rock. 

From here, we could see Garfield Peak. 

The views made taking a break even more fun. 

Here you can understand why the trail was still closed. There was a huge slab of ice snow still on the trail! 

After our hike, we made another short hike around a short loop. 

We had to cross through more snowy trails. I was impressed by my sandal hiking family! 

One last picture of our super sweet campsite! What you can’t see in this picture are the thousands of mosquitoes swarming around us! If you go to Crater Lake – take bug spray! 

PS. Thanks for being patient with me as I blog a little late about my travels. At the time I’m posting this, I’m in SFO about to fly home to Tokyo. I enjoyed the past three weeks immensely. I needed an American vacation with my family and friends. And I can honestly say, by disconnecting I was able to reconnect. It did my heart good. 

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