Thursday, July 24, 2008

Crater Lake - the deepest lake!

In the morning, there was something on the windscreen of our car....

There was a similar piece of paper on the windscreen of all the trucks next to us, too.

The mechanic disconnected the cable on the speedo. (Lester back at SF Auto had rigged one up for us since he couldn't find the right part, and it was making the hot feeling underneath the car as the cable rubbed against the transmission.) Now we had no speedometer or odometer (again!). But that was OK, we had the GPS. It even has an odometer.

We managed to see some of Mt Shasta in the smoke, which was amazing considering how thick the smoke was. (Probably best to click on the photo to see Mt Shasta.)

The "Volcanic Legacy" highway between Oregon and California was beautiful.

We knew we were in Oregon only because we stopped for gas, and could see a little station for the attendant. And, there was a deep blue lake next to the gas station. Lake Klamath! Lake Klamath is the largest lake west of the Rockies. We stopped along the road to take a few photos and admire its amazing blue colour.

Here are some volcanic fumaroles in Annie Creek Canyon, just outside Crater Lake in Oregon. The fumaroles were formed when hot gas bubbled up through lava and made little vertical vents.

We headed on towards Crater Lake, our main destination for the day. It was gorgeous! Crater Lake was formed when Mt. Mazama blew its top, quite a long time ago. Wizard Island is in the middle, a volcanic cone.

First, we tramped up to Watchman's Peak, where there was an historic fire watch station. It was amazing that there was still snow on the ground in some places, but the air was very warm.

We walked to the top of this peak!

Here is the view from the top - can you spot the Fat Kiwi?

The subalpine flowers were very pretty.

We took the Cleetwood Trail down to the shoreline and dipped our feet in the water. It was cold!! The lake only gets fed by snowmelt and rainwater, and there is no outlet, so it's some of the purest (and bluest!) in the world.

In the evening we drove towards the coast of Oregon. As I was driving, I looked ahead. There on the road was a bunch of three racoons eating something. My mind raced. At highway speeds, swerving to avoid them would almost certainly cause the van to roll. And braking wouldn't stop us in time. There was only one thing to do. I aimed the van right at the centre of the racoons. There was a thump as one made a break for it and raced towards the left. The van passed right over the other two harmlessly. I felt bad.

Going into [small town below Dunes City where 138 meets 101], I turned left towards the gas station since we were running low on gas, instead of heading north on the 101. Suddenly I saw blue and red flashing lights behind me, in the mirror. I turned in to the gas station, and stopped. I looked in the mirror again. The flashing lights were still there. Oh, dear.

Brendan got out and talked to the police officer. He said he'd pulled us over since our headlight was out. What? I hadn't noticed. He allowed us to grab gas since the gas station was about to close (Oregon has a silly law that you can't pump your own gas. and the guy at this gas station lost our gas cap!) while he wrote us a warning. I was still surprised that the headlight was out. I'd chalked the very low light on low beam up to the Fat Kiwi being an older car.

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