What's with all this volcanic stuff?!

Trip Start Jul 04, 2012
Trip End Jun 04, 2013

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Where I stayed
Mazama Village Campground

Flag of United States  , Oregon
Wednesday, September 26, 2012

So on our way to Cali-forn-i-a, we decided to make a quick pit stop at Crater Lake National Park near the Oregon/California border.  Crater Lake is exactly that, a beautiful, pristine body of cobalt blue water set in (you guessed it!) a dormant volcano called Mount Mazama.  The summit collasped 7700 years ago after a series of smaller eruptions drained the magma from the caverns below.  Rain water and snowmelt filled the lake to more than 1900 feet - the deepest lake in the U.S.  Hydrothermal venting at the bottom of the lake means it has an unique ecology and always remains at about 38 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Rim Drive around the crater is spectacular with steep drop offs, a volcanic cone in the lake (Wizard Island) and lava tubes forming Phantom Ship (dated at 400,000 years old).  We made the trek down 724 feet to the lake to put our feet in, and also drove out to the Pinnacles Overlook.  The Pinnacles are located in a deep valley and consist of hardened volcanic ash shaped into spires.

By now we consider ourselves amateur volcanologists and have seen pretty much every volcanic feature, except for an active volcano (if we get to Hawaii, we'll have it made!).  We have been very surprised at how much the American West and MidWest has been shaped by volcanic activity and wonder when the next eruption will occur (remember Mount St Helens in 1980?).  The reality is our earth is constantly shifting, expanding and contracting......so why not check out California - the home of earthquakes and tsunamis?!?!  Ah, no need to be dramatic (I hope)!
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JJ on

Loving the updates! Keeping on truckin' and lettin' the good times roll. Miss you guys at the bus stop in the morning.

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