Road Trip to Crater Lake National Park

September 20, 2016

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park

“. . . I think anybody who travels knows that you’re not really doing so in order to move around — you’re traveling in order to be moved.”
— Pico Iyer

By this stage in our vacation, I was experiencing moments of exhaustion.  Our whirlwind tour of the Pacific Northwest national parks was rewarding us with some peak experiences, but there was a lot of driving.  I was beginning to yearn for a stopping place, time to sit and do nothing.

“Speed diminishes the gifts that a journey can give you, the gift, for instance, of moving through a landscape slowly enough to be able to watch it, take in its characteristics, observe the land’s relationship to the sky, the patterning made by boundaries, whether of hedge or stone, the way that trees, banks in the lanes signal changes in the underpinning of the landscape: limestone turning to chalk, clay to sandy loam.  Traveling fast . . . there is not enough time to clear away the mental baggage you have brought with you from the ordinary and make a space in your mind for the extraordinary.”
— Anna Pavord, Landskipping:  Painters, Ploughmen and Places

Umpqua River along Oregon Hwy 138

Umpqua River along Oregon Hwy 138


The drive up to Crater Lake along Oregon’s Highway 138 was itself a scenic route following the Umpqua River.  While everyone else was snoozing in their seats, I was following the long and winding road, and I have to admit, beautiful as it was, it also felt endless!

And yet, the first view of Crater Lake refreshed my soul.  I was reminded that the effort to get out to our national parks is always worth it.

First view of Crater Lake and Wizard Island

First view of Crater Lake and Wizard Island



Have you ever seen such a blue blue?

“The deeper the blue becomes, the more urgently it summons man toward the infinite, the more it arouses in him a longing for purity, and, ultimately, for the supersensual.”
— Wassily Kandinsky

“The world is blue at its edges and in its depths.  This blue is the light that got lost.  Light at the blue end of the spectrum does not travel the whole distance from the sun to us.  It disperses among the molecules of the air, it scatters in water.  Water is colorless, shallow water appears to be the color of whatever lies underneath it, but deep water is full of this unscattered light, the purer the light, the purer the water the deeper the blue.  The sky is blue for the same reason, but the blue at the horizon, the blue of land that seems to be dissolving into the sky, is a deeper, dreamier, melancholy blue, the blue at the farthest reaches of the places where you see for miles, the blue of distance. This light that does not touch us, does not travel the whole distance, the light that gets lost, gives us the beauty of the world, so much of which is in the color blue.”
— Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

Reflections at the edges of Crater Lake

Reflections at the edges of Crater Lake

View from the rim road, Crater Lake National Park

View from the rim road, Crater Lake National Park

I could have sat for hours on the rocking chairs lining the porch at Crater Lake Lodge!  But we stopped there only to “smell the coffee” as we took a coffee break and soaked in the magnificent view.





One Response to “Road Trip to Crater Lake National Park”

  1. selah Says:

    we went there years ago and were amazed also at the color of the water. your photos are lovely.

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