I recently fell in love with Crater Lake, visiting it twice in three months. I spent the rest of the year trying to convince everyone I knew that they needed take a trip to Oregon’s only National Park. I would rant and rave about the stunning scenery, the incredible drive down Oregon from the Dalles to the park, and even tell them they had to get an amazing slice of pie at Beckie’s Cafe while they were down there. Crater Lake had me running around like a smitten adolescent. Even while there I yelled it from Crater Rim, overcome with glee and giddiness. After numerous days explore, I had thought I had seen the ancient volcano from every angle. One picture changed that. Oregon City resident Terri Hillman Devlin was flying over Oregon in late January of 2016 and snapped a picture that may finally thrust Crater Lake into the national spotlight for destinations of grandeur and beauty. The marks on the window of her plane are visible, but through the transparent pane, the remnants of Mount Mazama extend out in all of Earth’s glory. The region looks desolate and lifeless, except for the faint outline of the 33-mile Rim Drive that circles the top of the National Park. The southern Oregon Cascades shimmer in the snow and sun, while the stark contrast of Crater Lake, Wizard Island and the rim look like a pockmark on the Planet Hoth.
Crater Lake National Park is coming off a record breaking snowfall in December of 2015, when the area received over 200 inches in just 31 days. That total doubled the entire snowpack for the winter of 2014-15. The snowpack for 2015-16 currently at 116 inches, while the region has seen 314 inches since October 1st, 2015. Winter is back and much needed after a record drought last year, making the picture even more special to those concerned with such things.
The picture is beautiful and I am extremely glad to have seen it. The image of a snowy Crater Lake from the window of an airplane is a reminder that sometimes we need a new perspective on things to remember the uniqueness and beauty in our own backyard. It should also tell you that Crater Lake needs to be visited, soon and often. Let me show you the highlights.