Crater Lake, Lava Beds, Lassen Peak

One of the best things about self-employment and remote working, is the ability to travel while working. I can go on the road without anyone’s permission, often at the last minute.

I recently visited Crater Lake, Oregon’s only national park. The pictures speak for themselves:

Crater Lake with Wizard Island in the middle, and snowy peaks around the crater’s rim.
Mountains behind Crater Lake.
Panoramic view of Crater Lake.
Me, and my husband, Kwame; with Crater Lake behind us.

Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States, at 1,949 feet/594 meters. No rivers flow in or out of the lake, and its water comes from rain and snowfall. For this reason, the water is unusually clear, pure, and deep blue. The area averages more than 40 feet/12 meters per year, which helps keep the lake full – although until recent decades, the snowfall average was more like 50 feet/15 meters, and climate change has apparently reduced the average snowfall.

The Klamath Native American tribe’s oral history depicts a battle between the sky god Skell, and the god of the underworld Llao – with Mount Mazama being destroyed in this battle, creating Crater Lake. The tribe still holds Crater Lake in high spiritual regard. Visiting it, it is easy to see why.

We also visited Lava Beds National Monument, located near the Oregon border in Siskiyou County, in California. A bit off the beaten path, this park offered plenty of scenery without big crowds:

View from the top of Schonchin Butte lookout.

Here is a site where “spatter cones” once erupted chunks of hot lava. The deep brown rocky bits covering the rocks are dried lava:

Spatter cones and dried lava covering the rocks.

The park also features plenty of caves to explore, ranging from easy ones to hard ones. Tip: If you go caving, using a headlamp is very helpful. You might also want to bring a jacket.

This is the entrance to the Valentine ice cave. Although it has little ice left in it now compared with a century ago, it still gives a chilly and moist contrast to the warm, dry air of the ground above:

Entrance to Valentine ice cave.

The park also sits just a few miles from Camp Tulelake, which infamously was the site of an internment camp for Japanese-Americans during the WWII era. This somber piece of history seems as foreboding nowadays as ever:

Interpretive panel with information about the history of Camp Tulelake.

On the way back, we noticed that Lassen Volcanic National Park was not far out of the way, so we stopped there as well. Here are a couple shots of Lassen Peak:

Lassen Peak over the lake.
Lassen Peak through the trees.

Much of Lassen Park is still closed due to snow still being plowed off of the roads. Accordingly, we intend to visit again later in the Summer, and will have more pictures of it at that time!

Also while traveling through Northeastern California, we were able to get a nice close-up view of the majestic Mount Shasta, the top of which seems to blend with the clouds:

Mount Shasta.

As always, dear readers, thank you for following me.

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