Saturday, July 31, 2010

9/12/06 Crater Lake National Park Part 1



這次會去Crater Lake National Park,是因為參加表姊在Portland(波特蘭)的婚禮。而媽媽當時提早飛到波特蘭,因此我也決定提早飛上去,再以帶媽媽出去走走為由,「順便」玩國家公園之實。

In the summer of 2006, I attended my cousin's wedding up in Portland, OR.  Since my mom flew in early, it presented me the golden opportunity (and excuse) to bring her on a trip to Crater Lake National Park. 


這是在飛機上照到的Mount Shasta,是在Cascades山脈裡,繼Mount Rainier之後的第二高峰,也是加州第五高峰的山。一般人沿著I-5往北開,一定會看到的。這次,則是機長向各旅客廣播而有幸從這個角度看到的。

This is a view of Mount Shasta from the plane above.  In the Cascades Range, it is the second highest peak, just behind Mount Rainier.  If you happen to be driving on I-5 in northern California, you cannot miss it.  Here, I got a much different perspective.


當時飛上去Portland是匆匆忙忙,因為當時在宿舍搬房間,全部東西隔天才剛搬好,第二天早上八點不到就立刻去搭飛機了。下了飛機,先在小阿姨家睡了個午覺,下午和三阿姨借了車,就和媽媽直接殺上路了。那時也沒有GPS,手上只帶了幾張AAA的地圖,手抄的開車路線,以及AAA的Tour Book。我印象還很深刻,第一晚的住宿,還是到Portland機場,等阿姨來接我的時候,隨手翻翻AAA的Tour Book,找了個價錢滿意的地方,就訂了。

My trip to Portland was extremely hectic.  Not only did I have to pack for the trip, more importantly, I had to finish up moving into another graduate dorm room the night before, literally.  The next morning, I had to catch an early morning flight.  Immediately arriving Portland and a brief power nap later, I was on the road with my mom (thanks to my aunt lending us a Camry).  I did not have a GPS, and I only had a few AAA maps and books and some directions I scribbled down.  I vividly remember that the first night's accommodation was booked when I was at the Portland airport, waiting for my aunt and mom to pick me up.  I was happy with the location and price and I went ahead with it. 


我們當天晚上住的旅館叫做Holiday Village Motel,在US-97上面,過小城Chemult之後就在馬路邊。基本上,Chemult這個城也只不過是US-97上路的兩旁蓋了餐廳,旅館,還有酒吧。所以離開Chemult,荒涼的景象更是可以想像。會訂這一間旅館,也只不過是想靠公園近一點,但又不想花太多錢住公園裡的Lodge。

Holiday Village Motel的房間都是照片上所看到的A-frame屋,雖然是外表簡陋,但裡面是小而美,設備還算齊全,而且電視台有幾百台可以看 :)  ~~  唯一的小困擾是,浴室在最邊邊,直接靠著斜下來的屋頂。因此,如果要洗澡的話,還不能完全站著洗,不然頭一定會撞到屋頂 XD

The place we stayed at was called the Holliday Village Motel.  On US-97, it is just past the town of Chemult, if it can even be called a town at all.  The motel is literally in the middle of nowhere, which translates to:  it is much closer to the park than the nearest big town, without spending big bucks by staying in the lodges inside the park.     

The units here at the motel are simple A-frames.  It's very simplistic but it has pretty much everything you need to stay the night.  One thing I didn't expect was the number of television channels (200+) that they had in the room.  The only little caveat is that the shower tubs are next to the slanted roof, meaning that you cannot fully stand up when showering, because you will certainly bang your head into the roof. 

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Crater Lake的形成,公園裡牌子也都有提到,是因為Mount Mazama差不多七千年前火山爆發後塌陷而形成的火山湖。而Mount Mazama本身,是大約在50萬年前由連續多個地底的熔岩噴發而製造出來的。大約3萬年前開始,岩漿中的二氧化矽(silica)濃度慢慢變高,表示岩漿的稠度也變大。這使得地底熔岩的壓力釋放比較慢,容易累積大量的能量,日後形成大爆發。一連串越來越激烈的爆發,終於在7700年前達到最高潮。漸漸地,地底的壓力無法支撐上面的山而慢慢崩塌。這段期間,仍有後續的噴發,在坑洞裡面造出新的山。不過當一切的火山運動都結束之後,熔岩冷卻下來的石頭形成了一個密不透水的一層結構。降落的雨和融化的雪,就將湖給填滿了,而且水位多年來始終維持在差不多同樣的深度。

Crater Lake was formed when the ancient Mount Mazama started to collapse around 7000 years ago, after many violent eruptions.  Mount Mazama itself was created around 500,000 years ago by a series of volcanic activities itself.  About 30,000 years ago, the underground lava became rich with silica, meaning that the lava was more viscous, which also means that gases cannot escape so easily, and pressures can build up.  This also signaled that the eruptions would become more and more powerful, which ultimately reached the climax 7700 years ago.  With all the lava and pressure released, Mount Mazama started to lose support and collapsed, creating a caldera.  That was not the end yet, as many subsequent eruptions took place after, creating secondary volcanic domes that rose from the floor of the caldera.  Geologists believe that the lava flowing out hardened and created a non-porous rock layer, a closed seal that would not allow water to seep out.  The lake filled up through precipitation of snow and rain, where the water level has remained more or less constant for the past hundred of years.  

今天,Crater Lake是美國第一深的湖(590米左右),北美州第二深的湖,也是世界上第九深的湖。Crater Lake的美麗與獨特之處更在於它水的清澈。Crater Lake是個大部份水來自融雪的封閉系統。因為沒有任何河流留進來,雜質相當少。而湖水43米的可見度更是世界之冠(一般湖水可見度能有30米就已經了不起了)。湖水又深又乾淨,使得水分子會將陽光裡最不容易吸收的藍光散色出來。前來參觀的遊客們,肯定都是被那又清晰又蔚藍的湖水所吸引。

成立於1902年(又是老羅斯福總統任內),Crater Lake國家公園是美國第六老的國家公園。不過,Crater Lake也是美國西北邊每年降雪量最大的地方之一,因此一年中,只有七月到九月三個月是真正適合人參觀的。不然,環湖的路會是封閉的,前來的遊客一定會自討沒趣。



Today, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States (maximum depth of around 1949 feet), the second deepest lake in North America, and the ninth deepest lake in the world.   It is known for the clarity of the water, since it gets its water mostly from snow, so there are very few pollutants in the water.  In fact, Crater Lake has a record clarity of 43 meters as set by a Secchi disc.  The lake also owes its mesmerizing deep blue color to that of the purity of water.  Water molecules have a dip in the absorption spectrum in the blue wavelength, where the blue light is scattered and reaches the surface.

Established in 1902 (under Teddy Roosevelt, yet again), this is the sixth oldest U.S. National Park.  It also happens to be one of the snowiest places in the Northwest.  This implies that there is only a small window per year where the park is completely open.  This window is typically the 3 months between June and September.  Otherwise, expect lots of snow and a closed Rim Drive. 




進公園有北邊和南邊兩個主要的入口。因為我們是從Portland地區開下來,當然是從北邊的入口進來。到環湖的道路交叉口時,我們選擇逆時鐘的方向開。

Wizard Island(巫師島)是湖上露出水面的兩個岩石結構之一(另一個為Phantom Ship)。Wizard Island的形成,是主要是先前提的,Mount Mazama崩塌後的後續爆發造就出來的。這天很幸運,湖上風平浪靜。原本乍看之下,以為湖面上有霧,但仔細再瞧瞧,居然是山的倒影!印象中那麼水平如鏡的景色,可能還真的是第一遭呢。


There are two entrances into the park, one in the north and one in the south.  Coming from Portland, naturally we'd be coming in from the north.  Upon hitting the Rim Drive, we chose to drive around the lake counterclockwise.

One of the first features you will see is Wizard Island, one of the two geological formations that are above the water line (Phantom Ship being the other).  Wizard Island was created by the aforementioned subsequent eruptions after the collapse of Mount Mazama.  We were very lucky that the lake was very calm this morning.  Originally thinking that there was alot of fog near the surface of the lake, a closer look reveals that they are in fact the reflections of the surrounding peaks!



   
從另一個地方和角度拍攝Wizard Island。
Another view of the lake and Wizard Island


前來乞討食物的花栗鼠
Chipmunks begging for food.  
Remember that is is illegal to feed animals here.



湖面風光
view of the lake



這是Crater Lake上的另一個地理構造,叫做Phantom Ship的小島。它是這邊最古老的岩石之一,是40萬年前Mount Mazama形成時的岩石層。它和附近石頭性質上的不同,光從顏色上就分辨得出來了。Phantom Ship像不像民間神話裡海上漂流的鬼船,則是要看看每個人的想像力了~~~ 

Phantom Ship comprises of the oldest rocks in this area, when Mount Mazama was created 400, 000 years ago.  The rock is pretty different from its other nearby formations, and it's somewhat evident from the color and texture (compared to Wizard Island).  The name comes from the fact that it loosely resembles a ghost ship sailing in the ocean.   I guess you can judge for yourself.   



沿著湖周圍繞一圈的Rim Drive,其實只有33 miles。如果悠閒地開一圈,在各景地下來走走,也不會超過半天的時間。不過,Rim Drive僅在上面,是不能走到湖邊的。這兒的hiking trail並不多,有幾個都是少於1 mile的簡單trail,但仍然在高處瞭望湖的景點。要能真正碰到湖水,是要到湖北邊,走那個Cleetwood Trail。這個trail是有坡度的,下去和上來都有一定的挑戰。更重要的是,要搭乘遊湖的船,也得沿著這個trail走到下面開船的地方。由於媽媽那一陣子行動不方便,因此只能作罷。兩年後和女友重遊Crater Lake的時候,才圓了走到湖邊和搭船的願望。

The Rim Drive is only 33 miles long.  If you take your time, stop at all the stops and stroll around, you can probably still finish touring the area in less than half a day.  However, the Rim Drive is not anywhere near the lake shore.  The only hiking trail that does bring you to immediate contact with the waters is Cleetwood Trail, which is a steep descent and ascent.  It is also where you start to go for boat rides on the lake.  With my mom not feeling physically fit at the time, we decided not to do any serious walking.  There are other easy hiking trails on the rim less than 1 mile that brings you to the various lookout points. 

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The Pinnacles


The Pinnacles 這些地理結構,是位於公園東南邊的地方。Rim Drive開一開,就會看到標示,路也只有一條,開到底(大約6 miles)沒路了,就是了。

The Pinnacles are located in the southeast end of the park, where you make a turn off Rim Drive.  There is only one road leading there, which is a dead end anyways, so you can't really miss that either.



Mount Mazama爆發之後,第一波滾燙的岩漿,順勢而下,流到旁邊的山谷裡。這些pumice(浮石)岩漿密度低,流速高,並混合大量氣體。接踵而至覆蓋上來的,是第二波密度更高的andesite(安山石)岩漿。下面pumice岩漿裡的熱氣,慢慢從地底上升,形成了圓錐狀的fumarole(噴氣孔)。經多年的風化,於是把這些氣體當初跑出來的通道,給曝露了出來。可想像,這些pinnacles裡面,其實都是中空的。

When Mount Mazama erupted, fast-flowing pumice lava flowed down into the valley floor nearby (6 miles approximately).   A secondary flow of andesite lava later covered the initial pumice flow.  Pumice lava traps many gases, which started to make their way up to the ground, creating cone-shaped fumaroles.  Many years of erosion have stripped away the rocks and have exposed the hardened gas tunnels.  Naturally, these pinnacles are hollow within.   



The Pinnacles 結構大一點的特寫
Close-up shot of the Pinnacles

這次Crater Lake之行走馬看花的成份比較大,不過能親身看到那麼深藍的湖水,也是大開眼界。兩年後再回到此處,心情和感覺又是大不同。

I was simply bedazzled by how blue and clear Crater Lake was.  I would return two years later, taking the hike down to the lake shore and enjoy the boat trip on the lake. 


Go to:
Crater Lake National Park Part 2

Official Website:
Crater Lake National Park

2 comments:

itchiang(thor) said...

六月通常只有West Rim Drive能開車, 一般得到六月底或七月初才會全線暢通, 而且Ranger Programs也才會正常運作. 一般十月中後會下雪, 可能就在這個月關閉Rim Drive, 也可能十一月才關, 視下雪量而定.

Deadlockcp said...

嗯 thanks... 改一下。我也記得是通常只有三個月會開,應該是7-9 。 6-9 是4 個月 XD

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