Ah dear readers, what a difference a day makes. Yesterday Tango and I navigated California’s hot and crowded Interstate 5. Today we traveled secondary roads in Oregon and life was much better.
We started early and headed for Crater Lake National Park, an hour up the road from Klamath Falls. The day was perfect. Bright blue sky and mild temperatures. There was just one problem. Snow ….and lots of it.
Crater Lake, it seems, naturally has one of the highest snowfalls in the U.S. According to the park brochure:
The average annual snowfall at Park Headquarters is 43 feet! The greatest cumulative snowfall for one season was 879 inches (73 feet) the winter of 1932-33. The greatest depth on the ground at one time was 258 inches (21½ feet) the winter of 1983. Most of the snow usually melts by the beginning of August, although after particularly heavy seasons, there are drifts that fail to melt before the snows return again in the fall. (emphasis mine)
This year, according to a quick Google search, was a banner year. In January a massive snowstorm hit the area which already had received 134% of its normal snowfall. So here is what we found at Crater Lake.
For a while I wondered if we would even see the Lake! All around us were mountains and walls of snow. The roads were beautifully cleared but how to see the Lake?
Well, the U.S. Park Service is among the unheralded of our government agencies. From the pleasant young man who was at the gate before 8 a.m., to the men working to clear the roads, and the fresh young faces at the visitor center there was nothing but pride and an obvious desire to help and answer questions. We found a bit of beautifully cleared road and one magnificent vista. Oh how I love this country. ❧