Saturday, October 9, 2010

Reflections on Crater Lake 2010, part two: experience and inspiration

Crater Lake remains an awe-inspiring place, whether you are seeing it for the first or the five-hundredth time. Visually spectacular, scientifically unique, sacred from many perspectives. Prompts contemplation among Native Americans on the mystic powers of the waters, and contemplation among white men on the presence of fish, variation in lake level, and whether the lake freezes.

Being a ranger and interpreter, it has been my charge to share the wonders of Crater Lake and the surrounding old-growth forest with the world, through boat tours, trolley tours, guided hikes, talks from the rim, roving interpretation, and campfire presentations.

My iconic ranger photo atop Mount Scott, the highest point in the park, at almost 9,000 feet.
The Klamath call the mountain Muckwulx, “a place where chiefs sleep.” To them, it is a place for vision quests. To tourists, it is the only place where one might fit the entire lake into a camera's viewfinder.

A boat tour, with me at front, visits the waterfalls in Chaski Bay.

The sunset from atop Watchman peak.

The plunge into Crater Lake. The water is *$@#($#*( cold! (I understand if you consider me to be cheating by wearing a wet suit, but for me the suit makes a bit of swimming possible. Without it, one jumps into the lake, and then right back out.)
I managed to get out for one day with the trail crew. It was a rewarding day of clearing for the new Pleakney Falls trail (apologies if I mispelled the name). Turning the volcanic earth of Mt Mazama into a trail, especially one accessible to people with disabilities, is no easy task. We used leverage, technique, and a bit of brute force to clear massive rocks from our path. It is quite rewarding to see a rock go crashing down the hill, after much effort by rock bar and muscle.

Towards the end of my season, we had summer weather in late September (clear and sunny), producing astounding reflections on the lake (to which my photography does not do justice; nonetheless, the view from the Phantom Ship Overlook.)

And thus I conclude my reflections.

My thanks to the unnamed tourists who shot the various photos of me. (The scenery photos are by yours truly, and the trail photos are by Kara Reinhardt.)

In other events, coming up is 10/10/10, a day to take action for a better world, by participating in a local project to mitigate global warming. Find one near you. (I will be aiding the harvest of Wealth Underground Farm in Portland.)

I have now moved to new locations, and so shall my blog. Coming soon... scary drawings, and notes on scarier world events.

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