Sunday, July 8, 2012

Klamath Lake

Today our goal was to visit the Klamath Lake area via highway 62, then highway 97 to the city of Klamath Falls, then around the west side of the lake via highway 140 all the way to Butt Highway, which would take us to Prospect-Butt highway bringing us back home.  We pretty much followed the route to the tee.

On the south-eastern portion of Crater Lake National Park, we came upon Godfrey Glen, where fossil fumaroles (opening of the earth's crust) mark the sites of hot gasses that rose through the glowing avalanches that once filled this canyon.  Now, Annie Creek runs through the valley.  It was very interesting, although one cannot get a good view of Annie Falls as the creek drops in elevation.
Above is a good view of Godfrey Glen, while below is a close up of the fumarloes in the shape of slender cones, formed by the volcanic activity.
 In both of the pictures above and below is a waterfall, can you see it?
Above you can see the mountainous remains of Mount Mazama, a stratovolcano which collapsed, and now holds Carter Lake. It was estimated that Mazama was around 12,000 feet tall.  Now the highest peak, Hillman (far left peak in picture), is now only 8,150 feet tall.  Below is Annie Creek, and one of the many small falls that it runs through.
 Below is a close-up of the waterfall which was in the first three pictures.  In this picture below, the waterfall is near the bottom of the picture.

Next we came across Fort Klamath near the intersection of Highways 62 and 97.   Fort Klamath, established in 1863, was an army fort along the Oregon Trail, between what is now Crater Lake National Park and Upper Klamath Lake.  The post helped to stop conflicts with the settlers and the Klamath, Modoc, and Northern Paiute Indian Tribes.
There is a town called Fort Klamath nearby, and the original fort is not there...but there is park and museum maintained by the County on the property near to where the fort once was.

We finally got our first view of Klamath Lake, which about 20 miles long, and 8 miles wide.  It reminded me of Clear Lake in its size, but this Lake is not nearly as deep.  The lake feeds the Klamath River, which we camped along in Klamath, California.
The above picture of Klamath Lake is actually three pictures put together into one.  The white capped mountain to the right is Mount McLoughlin, a shield volcano, one of the volcanic peaks in the Cascade Volcanic Arc which Lassen, Shasta, and Crater Lake are part of.  In fact, we could see Mount Shasta at times from the Lake, but it was very hazy and picture just would not do it justice.  The picture above is from the east looking west.

 These two pictures (above/below) are of the southern view looking north.

Even the dogs got into it!  Well, I think they were just happy to be able to run on "real, thick grass" again.

The picture below is of Buck Island in the Lake.
 And this one is of the Eastern view from the west side of the lake.
We saw many birds around the lake....seagulls, pelicans, and these dancing grebes, which you will need to click on the link and view in google images.  Yes, they do dance, many times in pairs.  But our camera just could not get a close up shot of them, you can see some good pictures in Google Images.

Next we came to an area where John C. Freemont and his men had camped in 1846.  They were attacked by Indians, and 3 men died, including Denny, a half white, half Indian from Iowa.  Kit Carson was on this exploration with Freemont.  The stream nearby was named Denny Creek in honor of the fallen man.
Next we made it to Lake in the Woods, which we talked our way into just to capture this one picture without paying the $5 entry/day use fee.
And just down the road was Fish Lake, which did not cost unless you were going to fish, swim, picnic or camp in the Forest Land Campground.
 Above is the view to the left, and below the view to the right
We then quickly headed to the city of Butt Falls, and just before town turned onto the Butt Falls-Prospect highway to head for the motor home.  Ever since we left Klamath Falls, we experienced very little traffic, and even less on these last two legs of the trip.  The roads were all in real good condition, and for the most part, they were all ours....lined with trees...

 ....white flowers...
 ....purple flowers... flowers....
 ....a good view of Big Butte Creek...
 ....and Medco Pond....
 ...and a great view of the western side of Mount McLoughlin.
We have really enjoyed being in the Crater Lake area.  The RV Park in Prospect (Crater Lake RV Park) is of the best parks we have been in so far....and a great location for seeing so many things.  We leave tomorrow for more of the coast, this time the Oregon Coast.  Will let you know where we land after we get there.

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