Updated: Oct 26, 2021
Crater Lake was the very first reservation I made for this trip, way back in early December. It had been on my urgent-I-must-see-this-very-soon list, since I was 16 and first saw photographs of it.
A few facts: It’s the deepest lake in the U.S. and one of the deepest in the world. It’s 1,943 feet deep, which is pretty god damn deep. We don’t really even know what’s down there. Too deep to check. There are no rivers running in or out, thus no sediment, pollution, mine tailings, used motor oil, cigarette butts, etc. so it’s one of the purest bodies of water anywhere on earth. The water is so clear, you can see to 110 feet with the naked eye. The lake was a ginormous mountain until a mere 7700 years ago. We know that native peoples witnessed it exploding at 100 times the force of Mt. St. Helens. Think about that.
In contrast to its violent origins, Crater Lake is a surprisingly mellow National Park. It's not nearly as crowded or frenetic as some of the more popular parks despite its unique and iconic nature. And like all the older National Parks, they have beautiful early 20th century lodges made of stone and wood perched high up on the crater rim. We spent a week hiking all around the rim and even down to the lake itself in the one location that is possible.
We had beautiful, warm weather, but you could see the smoky haze in the distance from the wildfires burning all over southern Oregon. The climate is cooking. The west is burning. And this gave me an idea. In the coming water wars, I will become a warlord and make Crater Lake my fiefdom, commandeering the lodge as my mountaintop lair. There is an endless amount of water for my personal use (maybe I have a golf course or two?) as well as plenty more to sell off to the thirsty hordes in the desperate valleys below. Genius.
Mum's the word on this plan until I can put my private army together.