Day 6 Smokin' Hot at Crater Lake!

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The next morning Bone had to deal with some IBM nonsense, so Mike had the opportunity to enjoy an awesome breakfast, and check out the amazing grounds of the Touvelle House B&B.


Taking in the Touvelle House!

Boney finished his call and as they were leaving they stopped to chat with the Innkeeper's who shared that he and his partner had just bought the Touvelle House and were trying to make a go of it in the middle of a guest-diverting pandemic. They thoughtfully made Bone a breakfast to go, and as Mike and Bone walked out to their car they saw a Doe and her fawn, all in all a very cool place to stay. Hitting the road, they did not head immediately back to PCH, since they were only an hour away, Mike and Bone made the PCH detour a little more to the east and drove over to see the amazing Crater Lake!


The incredible Crater Lake!

PCH detour a little more to the east and drove over to see the amazing Crater Lake! It took a little over an hour from Jacksonville to get to Crater Lake. Once in the National Park, Mike and Bone were struck by two things:


The Bone and Mike @ Crater Lake

The size: Neither Mike nor Bone had any idea how darn big Crater Lake is! Heading over, Mike and Bone had the idea of hiking the Rim, well that wasn't going be done in one day,,, it is 33 miles across. The lake itself is 20 miles across.  Part of the reason the water is so blue is how clean and how deep it is, which is over 1,943 feet deep.


The smoke: All the western fires in California and Oregon due to the drought were all around Crater Lake. Sadly, many of the iconic scenes that would provide postcard shots were fogged over due to the fires. 


"Smoke on the Water!"

Regardless, Mike and Bone pulled out their walking sticks and hike for a couple of hours around the Rim.  As they followed the path the story of Crater Lake emerged and was much more epic than they knew. The volcanic activity in the Cascades that have formed some of the "biggies" such as Mount Rainer, Mount Hood, and Mount St. Helens, also formed one called Mount Mazama.


Hiking Fools on the Rim!?

Around 5700 BC, Mazama collapsed into itself during a tremendous volcanic eruption, losing 2,500 to 3,500 feet in height. The eruption formed a large caldera that, depending on the prevailing climate, was filled in about 740 years, forming a beautiful lake with a deep blue hue, known today as Crater Lake.

 The eruption that decapitated Mazama also laid waste to much of the greater Crater Lake area and deposited ash as far east as the northwest corner of what is now Yellowstone National Park, as far south as central Nevada, and as far north as southern British Columbia! It produced more than 150 times as much ash as the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.


"Yep, that is a Deep Blue!"

Local Native Americans witnessed the collapse of Mount Mazama and kept the event alive in their legends. One ancient legend of the Klamath people closely parallels the geologic story which emerges from today's scientific research.

Once the American’s came on the scene, with a trio of gold prospectors—John Wesley Hillman, Henry Klippel, and Isaac Skeeter, who were the first white people to visit the lake. On June 12, 1853, they stumbled upon the long, sloping mountain while hunting for provisions. Stunned by the vibrant blue color of the lake, they named the indigo body of water "Deep Blue Lake" and the place on the southwest side of the rim where he first saw the lake later became known as Discovery Point. But gold was more on the minds of settlers at the time and the discovery was soon forgotten. The suggested name later fell out of favor by locals, who preferred the name "Crater Lake."

William Gladstone Steel devoted his life and fortune to the establishment and management of a national park at Crater Lake. His preoccupation with the lake began in 1870. In his efforts to bring recognition to the park, he participated in lake surveys that provided scientific support. He named many of the lake's landmarks, including Wizard Island, Llao Rock, and Skell Head.


The Wonders of Wizard Island

With the help of geologist Clarence Dutton, Steel organized a USGS expedition to study the lake in 1886. The party carried the Cleetwood, a half-ton survey boat, up the steep slopes of the mountain then lowered it to the lake. From the stern of the Cleetwood, a piece of pipe on the end of a spool of piano wire sounded the depth of the lake at 168 different points. Their deepest sounding, 1,996 feet was very close to the modern official depth of 1,949 feet made in 2000 by sonar. Partly based on data from the expedition and lobbying from Steel and others, Crater Lake National Park was established May 22, 1902, by President Theodore Roosevelt. And because of Steel's involvement, Crater Lake Lodge was opened in 1915 and the Rim Drive was completed in 1918. After checking out a couple of miles, Mike and Bone realized they weren't going to do the whole thing on foot and walked back to the car and finished the Crater Lake Rim Drive Tour.


Very steep cliffs with smoke in the background


A smoky view of the Granite Cliff called Llao Rock!

As they drove around the Rim, the Boys tried to snap some pics, but the smoke from the local fires simply smoked out too many of the iconic sites, so they decided to start the trek back to PCH.

They were pretty burned up about the fires!


Face-to-Face with a Forest Fire!

In all their adventures, Mike and Bone had seen rain, snow, but not fire, especially live! For the next 50 miles and hour and a half, Mile and Bone drove through and by smoke and even through smoke. While it did not frighten the Boys, it certainly made them thirsty!!


A Faux Hall of Shame to Fend off the Flames!

The ubiquitous Hall of Shame, long a staple on any Mike and Bone trip, this years the Boys were drinking beers, sans alcohol! Regardless the did wash the smoke out of their throats and made the trip back to the coast much more fun. As they neared the coast, the fires and smoke cleared.


Back on PCH @ Dune City!

Mike and Bone noticed that hills went from brown to green as they reconnected on PCH in the Dune City area, just south of Florence which seemed like a cool place to hang out in for the night!


Fooling around in Florence

Crossing the Siuslaw River Bridge on PCH into downtown Florence, they grabbed the first hotel they found the Landmark Inn, a typical two star no-tell, motel. BUT it was close to the downtown. Which for Florence's downtown is physically downtown! Or better described as down by the Siuslaw River.


Noshing @ the BeachComber Pub

Walking down to downtown, Mike and Bone found a quaint touristy area that was very busy with people lined up for dinner. Because of Covid, many of the restaurants had a shortage of workers and were either close, or very limited  on the number of patrons they would let in. By 8:00 several of the places were "sold out for the night with intentions of closing by 9:00. Fortunately, the Boys found a fairly nice place called the BeachComber Pub. The grub was ok (not great), Mike and Bone were astonished on how hard it was to get good seafood on the Pacific Coast! At least the drinks were good.

After dinner the Boys walked around downtown a bit to stretch their legs after a long day of driving watch the sun set on where the Siuslaw River joins the Pacific. After a hour walking around, they headed back to their modest accommodations to crash for the night.