Photo Tour: Oregon

Crater Lake is the most solidly blue body of water I've ever seen. It's like a bowl full of sky.

Crater Lake is the most solidly blue body of water I’ve ever seen. It’s like a bowl full of sky.

These are the generators spinning up the electricity at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River. I definitely developed a love of hydroelectric dams on this trip.

These are the generators spinning up the electricity at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River. I developed a love of hydroelectric dams on this trip.

The fantastic Rogue River, cutting its way through the volcanic rock.

The fantastic Rogue River, cutting its way through volcanic rock.

Nothing says "incredibly quaint small town" like an adorable police station. Ashland, OR

Nothing says “incredibly quaint small town” like an adorable police station.
Ashland, OR

The Lighthouse at Bandon, OR.

The Lighthouse at Bandon, OR.

The salmon ladder at Bonneville Dam

The salmon ladder at Bonneville Dam

This was the view just 200 meters from my campsite near Humbug Mountain. I was the only one on the beach.

This was the view just 200 meters from my campsite near Humbug Mountain. I was the only one on the beach.

Our tour guide for a nature walk outside of Ashland. She reminded me of the female camp leader from the film "Addams Family Values." At one point on our tour she saw a bee and referred to it as "a happy little pollinator."

Our tour guide for a nature walk outside of Ashland. She reminded me of the female camp leader from the film “Addams Family Values.” At one point on our tour she saw a bee and referred to it as “a happy little pollinator.”

The people who chose not to go on the nature walk enjoyed a barn full of animal furs.

The people who chose not to go on the nature walk enjoyed a barn full of animal furs.

Crater Lake, as seen by a 27-year-old with her head upside down.

Crater Lake, as seen by a 27-year-old with her head upside down.

I read recently that the historic Benson Bridge at Multnomah Falls was damaged by a falling boulder. While the damage was small and sure to be repaired in time, I'm glad I saw it when I had the chance.

I read recently that the historic Benson Bridge at Multnomah Falls was damaged by a falling boulder. While the damage was small and sure to be repaired, I’m glad I saw it when I had the chance.

The view from the top of Bonneville Dam. It's a lot smaller than the Hoover Dam in Vegas or the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington, but it wins the prize for most interesting and beautiful  in appearance.

The view from the top of Bonneville Dam. It’s a lot smaller than the Hoover Dam in Vegas or the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington, but it wins the prize for most interesting and beautiful in appearance.

I took dozens of photos like this one while at Crater Lake. I loved the way the reflection of the lake created perfectly symmetrical patterns.

I took dozens of photos like this one while at Crater Lake. I loved the way the reflection of the lake created perfectly symmetrical patterns.

I followed a sign that pointed to a garden under a bridge in Ashland. The sign read, "This is The Path to Joy and Unity. Open your heart, and contemplate the magic that you will view." This painting was among many mounted like frescos on the ceiling underneath the bridge.

I followed a sign that pointed to a garden under a bridge in Ashland. The sign read, “This is The Path to Joy and Unity. Open your heart, and contemplate the magic that you will view.” This painting was among many mounted like frescos on the ceiling underneath the bridge.

I did a lot of solo wandering by the little lakes surrounding Mt. Bachelor. It's all volcanic rock, which makes for some really fascinating patterns and formations.

I did a lot of solo wandering by the little lakes surrounding Mt. Bachelor. It’s all volcanic rock, which makes for some really fascinating patterns and formations.

Some sections of The Oregon Vortex were off limits, even to guided tours...

Some sections of The Oregon Vortex were off limits, even to guided tours…

The misty Oregon coast

The misty Oregon coast

It never hurts to get a new perspective on things.

It never hurts to get a new perspective on things.

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Crater Lake

Almost panaramaI can’t think of anything nuanced or witty to say about Crater Lake. It’s just beautiful. It’s like all those photos you’ve ever seen of fantastic mountain escapes. You look at it and it’s almost hard to believe. Every photo in this post is shown exactly as I took it on my point-and-shoot, without any changes on the computer. I didn’t even crop them. Be sure to mouse-over or click on the photos to get the true color.

The first turnout where I got to see the lake, I just stared at it. I laid upside down on the rampart just to get a different angle. I felt like I couldn’t leave, because how often do you get a chance like this? And I’m just going to keep driving?People Taking Pictures

I pulled over at every stop. I took photos of the lake and of the mountains and so, so many photos of people taking photos. I couldn’t help but become an absolute tourist. I wore my little touristy hat and carried around my camera and even forgot to put on sunscreen, which l wouldn’t notice until hours later at the motel.

Mountains and Trees

I found out near the end of the day that I lucked out. All this week at the park it’s been cold and foggy. But today the sun was shinning and the lake could have been a mirror. Originally I was a little bummed when I realized how far ahead of the season I would be at the park, which meant I would miss most of the activities like ranger walks and boat trips to the island. Not to mention many things would be closed. I went to the only ranger talk they had for the day, and the ranger told us it’s actually better that we were there in the spring, because in the summer the waves from the boat tours mean that the lake never keeps that perfect mirror reflection. Perhaps he just wanted us to feel good, but he said spring is his favorite time of year at the park. I can’t blame him. It looks exactly like all the photos.

Me at Crater Lake