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Crater Lake, Oregon (not)

February 13, 2010

Yesterday was a lesson in altitude.  We set out for Crater Lake from nearby Eagle Point before ten o’clock.  The weather was cloudy with occasional drizzle as we started our ascent from 1310 to 7000 feet, but it gradually transformed to arctic conditions (photo above) with ten foot snowbanks hedging the icy road.  We slipped into the park in our subcompact with summer tires and stopped at the Ranger Station.  They showed us the current webcam photo of the lake, taken three miles away at the rim: the lake invisible in the fog.  They also explained that their snowplows were out of order. 

We turned around and left, concerned only with a safe descent and escape from wintry conditions, creeping downhill in line with four-wheel drive trucks and cars with chains on their tires.  As we descended below 4000 feet, the falling snow turned to rain.  Below 2000 feet, there was no snow anywhere.  We stopped at a hometown diner for lunch and gas, then continued to Portland through fifty degree cloudy weather.

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