I was delighted that Natalia decided to spend almost two weeks of
her vacation with me in Oregon this summer. Here's one of the trips we
took while she was here - down to Crater Lake.

Seeing as this was Natalia's first trip to Crater Lake, we had to stop in at the very first
opportunity to see the lake. This is taken at the viewpoint immediately next to the north entrance.

We pulled a bit of an Erik Olson and jumped the fence to run down and take this picture.

I tried my standard picture of self, but this was a disposable camera so I didn't really have the benefit
of experience at my side. I'm sort of covering Natalia, but the lake is still nice.

Natalia at Crater Lake in the morning.

We took a little tour of the Wild Flowers Garden after reserving our spot for the boat tour of Wizard Island.
It's totally worth every penny of the ticket price ($23.50 I think) but you need to be in line early to
reserve your spot on the boat.

Natalia in the boat on the way to Wizard Island.

Natalia with the walls of the crater visible. For those who don't know, Crater Lake was once a mighty volcano
called Mount Mazama. It erupted a few thousand years ago and once the magma (LIQUID HOT MAG-MA!) chamber was
emptied, the volcano collapsed on itself. Wizard Island is the remnants of a cinder cone and the lake is
the 7th deepest lake in the world. More on Crater Lake can be seen at the National Park site HERE

Here is Natalia sitting inside the caldera on top of the Wizard Island summit, which sits inside the caldera of Crater Lake.

A nice view of Crater Lake from the summit of Wizard Island.

Fun panoramic picture of Natalia on Wizard Island.

I was pretty impressed that even on the top of a cinder cone, trees are able to grow. This is right on
the summit of Wizard Island and I think it's cool.

Apparently, there's this 60 foot log that just floats around the lake completely vertical. I guess
it's called the Old Man of The Lake and it is actually really cool. The lake is so clear you can see the
bottom of the log.

Natalia and I looking out to Crater Lake.

We hiked up to the top of the Watchman to watch the sunset from the Fire Tower up there. This is
Natalia on the top of the Fire Tower.

On the way back to Portland, we stopped at a really cool hot spring called Umpqua. It's a few minute
hike in and it's just above the Umpqua River, providing for some really nice views. The hot spring
feeds a number of small travertine tubs until the water winds up at the river. This is a three-sided
shelter erected around one of the tubs. More info about the spring HERE .

Natalia about to hop into the tub.

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