I drove back down to Crater Lake National Park this morning, which is about 2 hours south of Bend. As I drove west from Route 97 towards the north entrance to the Park I saw the unmistakable white smoke from the Spruce Lake wildfire, currently burning just west of the Park. There was also a very strong wood-burning odor which is pleasing when it is coming from your fireplace but not as a result of a wildfire. I was still 12 miles from the entrance and was afraid this was not a good sign for my photography plans for the morning.
After going through the entrance the smoke almost completely cleared for about 5 miles (nature works in mysterious ways). When I got to Rim Drive the air was still pretty clear and I was encouraged that maybe visibility on the lake itself would not be too bad. Well, this is what I saw when I parked the car and walked up to the edge of the caldera.
I arrived at 830 local time. By about 930 it looked like the smoke was trying to clear and the wind was now pushing the smoke from the fire north instead of east. Well, about an hour later the wind shifted again and the smoke started building over the lake once more. I stuck around until noon and decided to bag it for the day.
I did continue to take photos while I was there and may post more at a future date after I’ve had time to review them.