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High melting point snow???

Eugene, United States

Day - 39 Friday 29th May 2009

A brief tour of Klamath Falls for some photos for the record, and then north towards Crater Lake, which everyone said was worth seeing.

It's very warm here, in the 90's even in the shade, and the sun is extremely hot so we were a bit surprised when they warned us that some roads around the lake were still closed by snow, and there was basically only one way in and out.

We set off past Upper Klamath Lake:

and Barbara was delighted when she spotted not just one, but two pelicans on the lake. Klamath Falls has the pelican as an emblem and we hadn't seen one until then, so it was nice to see they are still around.

We continued north along some very scenic roads and stopped in a very small place called Fort Klamath for a coffee/lunch break in very friendly and somewhat eclectic café/store where I was warned that if I removed my cap, it was considered to be the café's property! I kept it on as the sun outside was still very strong.

Moving on, we drove along the side of a very steep valley and on stopping and looking down, could hear but not see the river at the bottom as it was so steep. There was no barrier at the edge of the parking to prevent unwary pedestrians from stepping over the edge, and although the drop was not vertical, it was so steep and slippery that going over the edge would have meant sliding about 500 feet down the slope, with no chance of getting back up, even if you survived the fall.

A little further up, we encountered the first snow. It was relatively deep, and we were rather puzzled as to why it hadn't all melted because it was still very hot outside the car, and we very much still needed the air-con on. These two pictures were taken at the same time & place, outside and inside the car:

Climbing steadily up the twisting mountain roads, we got eventually to a good sized car park at Rim Village, and hoped to find some 'facilities' as the coffee was working its way through.

We found the café/gift shop .....

and the 'facilities':

and a warning sign:

but fortunately did find a way in as well:

and with 'facilities' available, had another coffee and bought some souvenirs.

Then off to admire the views:

And here it is, unobstructed by grinning tourists:

This is just a little corner of the lake, the whole panorama is simply wonderful, and awesome to consider that this is the stump of a much bigger volcano which blew its top off.

Walking around, there are some interesting points such as the poles to mark where the roads are when it snows in the winter:

And although it's summer here, snowy activities are very much a possibility. Here's a hiker with crampons on coming down from higher ground while Barbara was washing the car screens:

And we discovered that they weren't joking when they said that some of the roads were still closed by snow:

So we had to go back down south before we could go north again, which meant going past our eclectic little café again with its unusual salt & pepper pots:

But most interesting, apart from the chat with the owner, was the collection of over 1,000 caps and hats of all shapes and sizes donated by visitors from all over the USA and other countries:

Having deliberately bought myself a new cap up at Rim Village, I was very pleased to donate my faithful blue Team-Subaru cap to his collection, and was given free coffees in return. :-)

A long and sometimes boring drive, but scenic in parts, up to Eugene for the night.

permalink written by  Saros on May 30, 2009 from Eugene, United States
from the travel blog: The Hairy Animal 2009 World Road Trip
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