Tuesday, August 16, 2016

2016 Epic Road Trip - Day 90

Day 90
August 11, 2016
Vancouver, WA to Crater Lakes, OR to Grants Pass, OR

Crossed into Oregon today! I am officially on my way home!

Visited Fort Vancouver National Historic Site on the Washington boundary with Oregon. The area had its early history in a tussle between the US and Great Britain, both wanting control of the northern Pacific’s coast.  The two countries decided to share access of the Oregon territory, including this area until they could come to terms on permanent boundaries.

Back in the mid-1800s, the Fort was a trading post established by the British Hudson Bay Company, where fur trappers would bring their pelts to sell. The port was also used for hauling people and goods up and down the coast.  Eventually the land was divided between the two countries at the 49thparallel.  Much to England’s disappointment, Port Vancouver was on the American side of the boundary.  Within a few years, Hudson Bay Company pulled up stakes and moved elsewhere.

The next stop was Crater Lake National Park.  I drove through several hours’ worth of mountains on our way.  One pretty sight was Diamond Peak in the Williamette National Forest.  Diamond Peak is capped by snow year-round and there is a beautiful blue (glacial) lake at the base.

Pumice desert adjacent to Crater Lake.  I presume that the pumice is a form of the lava from eruption about 8000 years ago.
Crater Lake is, as one would guess, a lake formed in the basin of the volcano about 7,700 years ago.  It took hundreds of years of rain and snowfall to fill the lake.  The depth of the water is about 1950 feet deep, the deepest lake in the US.  There is no run-off from the edges of the volcano into the crater; it is all shed to the outside of the mountain.  That means that no silt runs into the lake, keeping it pristine and clear.  Due to the depth of the water, other colors in the spectrum are absorbed and not visible to the eye; only the blue wavelengths are scattered and visible to human eyes, making this lake appear almost sapphire in color. The lake is filled with about 4.9 trillion gallons of water.  The most beautiful lake I've seen on this trip.

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