Phannie

Phannie
Photo taken at Winchester Bay, Oregon

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Crater Lake and Almost Off the Grid

At Durango RV Resort, Red Bluff, California...

After leaving Canyonville and the Seven Feathers RV Resort, we set the GPS for Crater Lake RV Park in Prospect, Oregon. Since Phannie had up a pretty good head of steam on that straight piece of highway 62, we nearly blew by the RV park--and the town, for that matter--before we realized it. Prospect is a really, really tiny place. So tiny, in fact, that we figured it didn't have cell service. We were wrong--it did. But the RV park, a very short distance from town, didn't. This would prove to be an enlightening experience for us.

You know how I like to post photos of oddities and curiosities. Well, here is a bit of artwork that we noticed in Prospect that added a certain flair to the curb appeal of one of the residences in town:

In case you're having a little trouble with what you think you're seeing, this is a wooden fence upon which have been affixed work boots, into the top of which an artificial flower has been inserted. The wooden framing in the diamond shape makes the d├ęcor pop and adds to the curb appeal, don't you think?
We set up in our space in the RV Park, which was heavily treed. Even so, I thought the satellite dish on Phannie's roof would find the Direct TV signals, as there was a small break in the trees toward the south. Well, it didn't, so I finally pushed the button to stow the dish. Then I had to share with Miss Sandy that not only did we not have cell service and therefore, no Internet service, but we now had no Direct TV. She plopped onto the couch and looked at me with her face turning clockwise and back, much like a puppy that tilts its head from side to side as if trying to understand the indecipherable language of a human who is speaking to it.

As odd as it may seem, we almost never find ourselves with any part of our technology inoperable. When these eye-popping inventions came along, we didn't dismiss them as new-fangled things that would never catch on. We embraced them. No, we belly-flopped into them, wondering where they had been all our lives. I recall that we had the first VCR in the neighborhood, an old RCA Victor VHS behemoth whose blank videotapes cost something like 30 bucks. Whenever an improvement came along, we got it, and that hasn't changed. So, with Phannie nearly capable of receiving signals from a distant planet, being incommunicado like this was incomprehensible, much like our having to get up before sunrise--an event that happens with about the same frequency as the arrival of Halley's comet. Perplexed, we found in an overhead bin a rectangular stack of printed papers bound by a hard cover, which we vaguely recalled was known as a "book." Then we laughed hysterically, put it back, and watched some programs we had already recorded.

Okay, enough silliness. It wasn't as bad as all that, but we definitely missed our communications--more than we thought we would. We busied ourselves by driving Mae up to the rim of Crater Lake. The drive and the lake were beautiful, of course, although the air was a little smoky from the several forest fires that were plaguing southern Oregon and northern California at the time. It often gives me a bit of a shudder when I see for the first time some iconic landmark like Crater Lake that I had read about all my life. Fortunately, there weren't many visitors on that day--a Wednesday--so we had no trouble looking around to our heart's content and taking photos with no one in the way. And yes, it looks just like the photo:


It was also inspiring and humbling to contemplate the forces of nature at work in the volcanic action that formed this caldera. It was a fine time of inspiration and awe, and we felt privileged to be here in person to see it.

Not to diminish the moment, but you know how I like to take pictures of odd things. Here's another photo of something we saw parked at the rim of Crater Lake:


Now I don't know about you, but this was just about the last thing we would have expected to see at this place. I suppose it was genius, however, because it was probably photographed by every person there.

On our way back from Crater Lake, we stopped at the Natural Bridge over the Rogue River. After a brief walk from the parking lot at the viewing area, we saw the river flowing through an ancient lava tube that had formed during the active volcanic period. The river, which was quite significant in volume, disappeared into the tube about 200 feet upstream and emerged, leaving a natural bridge over the river:

Here's the downstream end of the lava tube with the river water emerging. The natural lava bridge above provided a walkway across the river.

And now, for the piece de resistance: On the same walk, which we took in the late afternoon, we happened upon a scene that photographers love--one that you know right away is going to be a beautiful shot and one that will be a source of delight as we look at it and remember the moment. I got the shot, and it was a good one--but through no great effort or skill on my part. The camera was on auto and I merely pressed the shutter release, and here it is:


The Rogue River, looking west at sunset near Crater Lake, Oregon
(C)
That night, we slept well after a very enjoyable day and were on the road again the next morning at the crack of around ten a.m., I think. As soon as we returned to civilization, our cell phones began an incessant series of dings and warbles as pent-up messages and emails began announcing their arrival. Miss Sandy purred as she began her usual triage, catching up with the goings-on of her peeps after a whole night of, well, what it must have been like on the frontier.

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I do not appreciate it enough every day.






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