As the morning sun crept into our cabin, we had slept through the rest of California and got up just in time to cross the state border, we were now in Oregon, first station, Klamath Falls. The spectacular Crater Lake is close to this town and we will be visiting here during the week.
The Palms and other imported species including Australian Gums have given way to the Native Pines of the Upper West Coast. The countryside has increasingly become more green with large lakes and wetlands dotted across the landscape. Our train has weaved around and through the vast mountainous region in the south part of Oregon, and so far, we have been through 22 mostly short tunnels.
We arrived at Portland ahead of schedule, 10 minutes early, apparently this is unusual as the train is nearly always late. Christine and Victor collected us from the station and we made our way to their house. We then went to a local restaurant and celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary, overlooking the very beautiful city of Portland.
The next day we left Portland and headed south towards Crater Lake.
Crater Lake is part of The Crater Lake National Park. Some of the viewing areas around the lake were closed due to large amounts of un-melted snow. The July snow depth is normally about 2 inches, this year however, a record 56 inches of snow is still on the ground, consequently, some impassable roads have forced the closures. During a normal summer you can drive around the entire 33mi. (53k.) rim of the Crater.
Crater Lake was formed when Mt Mazama erupted about 7,700 years ago, the eruption was about 42 times as powerful as the 1980 eruption of Mt St Helens in 1980. Lava flows filled the bottom of the crater and it then filled with 4.6 trillion gallons of water. (no water restrictions here)
The Klamath people revered the lake and its surroundings and managed to shield it from early white explorers until around 1853 when some gold prospectors discovered it. The prospectors were more interested in gold and soon forgot about the lake. Captain Clarence Dutton was the next white man to re-discover the lake. His recordings of the depth of the lake were made with a lead pipe and piano wire. He recorded the depth to be 1,996 which was very close to sonar recordings made in 1959 establishing the lake’s deepest point at 1,932 feet, making Crater Lake to be the deepest in the United States.
Today in Portland it is slightly overcast, the weather forecast is for the big blue Oregonian skies to re-appear this afternoon. We are heading into town later today for some shopping, sightseeing and Yoga, I may well be a bit sore tomorrow!
Lance & Barbara