Saturday, October 10, 2009

For Crater Lake's Sake

On Thursday, a friend and I rode our bicycles the 34 mile rim road in Crater Lake National Park, about 90 miles southwest of Bend, Oregon. We were fortunate to have tapirgal of Astoria Daily Photo along to chronicle our trip and drive a "support vehicle." It is her pictures that are on today's post.
The first photo, taken early in the morning in 30 degree weather, expresses the pristine quality of this amazing place. Crater Lake, the remains of an ancient imploded volcano, Mt Mazama, is over 1950 feet deep crystal clear blue water and is off-limits to boating of any kind. There is also no development in the park or along the lake. Due to the severity of the long Winter season, the park is usually open only from June through late October and, on this lovely day, amidst incredible Autumn colors, was practically free of tourists.

The second photo pays homage to tapirgal's skill with the camera and to memorialize the kindness she showed us riders. If you look carefully at the sunglasses worn by the exhausted bicyclist, namely me, you see that this is a group photo. In the left lens is friend Steve and, in the right, is the photographer with a beautiful shot of the lake in the background.
The last photo is a classic shot of "phantom ship" and the west rim. There are so many breathtaking vistas that I urge any of you to visit at least once in your life. However you might think twice before seeing it on a bicycle. This ride is no picnic. Many a guidebook or bike shop advisor describes the road in terms likened to jack-o-lantern's mouth. The grades are long and quite steep, and, on the downhills, the rider can reach truly death-defying speeds. Aside from the satisfaction of completing the course through this unique landscape, at the end there is the pure pleasure of easy chairs before a fireplace and delicious food and drink at the historic Crater Lake Lodge. I know that, unlike so many mundane days in life that disappear from memory, this day will stand out as one of the finest.


Sylvia K said...

It is a gorgeous pristine place! So glad you had a great -- if exhausting ride!


tapirgal said...

What a day :) I was happy to be the lazy one behind the camera. You could not have chosen a better day for us all to be there. I salute your amazing ability to do this hard ride and call it fun! I'll take a 5-mile hike, but leave this fun to others. The location is totally exhilarating. Again. What a day to remember.

Small City Scenes said...

Great acomplishment Lee---good for you and your friend.
Crater Lake is such a beautiful place and that blue is so BLUE!! MB

cieldequimper said...

Simply perfect post to make me jealous! ;-)

Unseen Rajasthan said...

What a beautiful and lovely post !!! Fantastic shots and great location !!Unseen Rajasthan

Raksha said...

I love that second photograph of tapirgal and Steve reflected in your shades. That is SO surrealistic!

It's hard to find suitable words for the pictures of Crater Lake, though. There is such a pristine purity about that place, about those pictures, it's almost supernatural.

Crater Lake doesn't seem to belong to this earth at all, or maybe it would be more accurate to say it doesn't seem to belong to this world. The earth is more magical and "supernatural" than we give it credit for most of the time. "Numinous" is the best word I can find for what I mean. I would love to see Crater Lake at least once in my lifetime, as you said.

Oh yeah...and congratulations on a truly heroic accomplishment!

Jacob said...

Kudos to Tapirgal for her incredibly beautiful photographs of this absolutely stunning place!

And you, my friend: 34 miles up and down steep grades with rocks and stuff strewn about.

That is so damned impressive! I'm just too old for that. So, if you don't mind, the next time I'll stay with Tapirgal and take photos -- well, she can teach me how to do it right! Have you seen her stuff lately? Magnifique!


Have a great week, Lee!

laurelgrace00 said...

Good job Dad! I am proud of you that you can do so many physically challanging adventures. I hope to follow in your footsteps when I am your age! Great photos Tapirgirl!

JeffAllen said...

Glad you had a good day for it! If you need help planning any future trips check out our webcam and info at