Phantom Ship

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SPOILER ALERT (from a sign at the overlook):

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This curious formation is located at 5 o’clock on the map, although the overlook from which these were taken is further north than that.  I may replace these with newer pictures by this weekend if the sun placement when I return yields a better picture, although if I get down here too early in the morning the terrain may block the sun from this part of the lake until midday.  Check back on this post later just in case.

 

The Pinnacles  

This is an area of the Park found at the end of Pinnacle Drive, which branches off East Rim Drive at about 430 o’clock on the map and extends 7 miles to the southeast.  The lowest picture was taken as Mr. I’m Afraid of Heights JohnBoy leaned precariously out over the vegetation to get the shot (hence, it’s a little crooked).  Oh, the risks I take for the blog….

BTW, I had never heard the term x30 o’clock until our minister in Evanston, Illinois (where I was born) used it in church while discussing upcoming church events.

Leaving Crater Lake

As I left Crater Lake National Park through the south entrance, I turned left and proceeded east towards Route 97 to get back to Bend.   I saw this scene to my left as I drove along Route 62.

Not long after leaving the Park I noticed that visibility in the distance was very poor, the worst it has been this entire trip to date.  I presume this is due to smoke from some big wildfires currently burning in northern California and drifting up this way.  There are also some fairly small fires burning in southern Oregon, so depending on the wind direction it could be from them as well.

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I checked up on the wildfire I had seen over near Missoula, Montana (now called the Sunrise Fire).  It was actually a group of small fires when it started but has now grown to over 10,000 acres and is only 5 percent contained.  There are almost 500 firefighters working to control and extinguish it according to the ArcGis map I found online.

As of the end of the day Tuesday I have been on the road exactly 4 weeks and have logged 12,730 miles.  Oh, and as of last Sunday morning I have now spent at least one night is each of the 48 contiguous states.  Only Alaska and Hawaii to go.

Birdwatcher paradise

OK, JohnBoy, enough with the mountain/lake/boat pictures already…  Well this spot has a special significance.

Because of it’s location, this area is a rare treat for birdwatchers.  The Cascade Lakes (you are looking at Elk Lake) separate the High Desert to the east and the big mountains to the west (the three Sisters, Broken Mountain, Bachelor and others) and it attracts birds from both environments.  So you may see desert birds and mountain birds together.  Migratory and resident birds together.  Water and land birds together.  And so on.

Also, the desert to the east of this lake gets an average of 12 inches of rain per year, whereas the mountains to the west get A HUNDRED and twelve inches of rain.

Big Obsidian Flow

These photos show a very small portion of the 700+ acre Big Obsidian Flow.  These shiny black rocks (actually very dark glass) were formed when lava flowing from the volcano hardened as it cooled.  As you can see by the top photo, the Flow is very tall, rising high above the mature trees.

While walking on the path up to see this area I came across one of the small butterflies I had seen yesterday (dead, unfortunately).  I have added a second photo to that post (just a few down from this one) so if you have seen the original post already you may want to take a second look at it.