I have seen many lakes – from the breathtaking Tshangu lake in Sikkim (India) near Chinese border to the amazing Pangong lake in Leh near Ladakh in the Himalayas, Dal lake, named as the “Jewel in the crown of Kashmir,” the finger lakes in Buffalo (New York) and many more.
None could elicit as speechless a response from me as the one I visited last week. None could inspire me to share my ethereal experience of being mesmerized by its view.
I have been looking for words to describe the beauty of Crater Lake ever since I set my eyes on this spectacular marvel of nature but words seem to fall apart…should I say exquisite…magnificient or a spiritual delight?
When I looked at it, the first word that came to my mind was WOW! Its pristine glory, its tranquility and its wondrous aura captivated me beyond words. I stood rooted to the ground, frozen, not by the gusty winds and sleet that welcomed us but by its celestial beauty.
“Crater Lake must be seen to be appreciated properly,” said Thomas J. Williams, former superintendent of Crater Lake National Park, “photographs simply cannot depict the majesty of the lake in its setting, the depth of the blue.”
The words of Author, Jack London that I happened to read at the Visitor center at Park Headquarters really resonate with me, “I thought I had gazed upon everything beautiful in nature as I have spent my years traveling thousands of miles to visit the beauty spots of the earth, but I have reached the climax. Never again can I gaze upon the beauty spots of the earth and enjoy them as being the finest thing I have ever seen. Crater Lake is above them above them all.”
Created out of fire, lava and smoke, this unique lake took many years to come to its present form. A caldera was formed when Mount Mazama (a volcano in south-central Oregon) collapsed. Lava eruptions created a central platform, Wizard island and Merriam Cone. Eventually the caldera cooled, allowing rain and snow to accumulate and form a lake.
We watched a 22-minute film about the park’s violent past and its present grandeur. It is shown at the Steel Visitor Center at Park Headquarters.
We drove around the east rim of the lake the day we arrived (many thanks to our amiable hostess who told us) because it was to be closed to vehicular traffic the next day for repairs. Rim drive, which was built in 1930s, is a 33-mile road that encircles Crater Lake. It offers ‘dramatic views’ of the lake and the park’s volcanic scenery.
Sun and mist played hide and seek and erased the deep blue color of the lake. Sunsets in the park are said to be amazing but we couldn’t savor them. A hushed desire to go again simmers within my heart.
Undeterred by sleet and rain, we hiked to Sun Notch to view The Phantom Ship, an island in the lake, that seems to be sailing away. From easy walks to challenging hikes, Crater National Park, which was established in 1902 has something for everyone – boat tours, trolley tours, camping, fishing, sky gazing, sunsets, wildlife viewing, food and dining in Crater Lake Lodge and even swimming in the ice-cold water of the lake!
We couldn’t enjoy all the activities due to early snow and bad weather on the day we chose to visit but the memories that we carried are permanently etched on our minds.
The drive through the park was a little scary but very beautiful, with thick forest on both sides of the road. We were caught unawares by a sudden snowfall when we decided to drive to Annie’s Restaurant for dinner and had to return empty stomach! But there were no regrets because we had had a sumptuous lunch at the Lodge restaurant and could drive through the thick snow on the slippery road.
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As a child, I would often skip on the dusty paths, sit under my favorite tree and find great delight in the cooing of doves. Though a city bred child, I was always charmed by the countryside.
The breeze seemed so welcoming, the rain so fulfilling and running under the dripping trees, an adventure!
Following the ducks till they jumped into the pond to defeat our ventures of catching them was our pet past time! The simple joys that nature presented could be felt even at that tender age.
Mother Nature is more than just a mother! She makes us perceptive, patient and perseverant. The lessons we learn in her lap are more profound than modern research results.
“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.” ― John Lubbock
ASOURCE OF INSPIRATION
Nature inspires us to co-exist peacefully. It provides for all the organisms yet it has linked them in an amazing way. The life of seeds and animals and human beings intermingles in such a way that they depend on each other yet can thrive on their own.
CHANGE AND ADAPT
Seasons change, flowers bloom, spread their glory for a while and wither, trees shed their leaves, rivers change their course, the law of nature is…accept change and flow with the current. The setting sun leaves a message of hope for us…a new dawn.
CONTENTMENT AND SERENITY
The soothing effect of winter landscape, the healing touch of lush green meadows, the harmony of sunshine and clouds, playing hide and seek, the mesmerizing effect of slow falling rain are the natural lessons we learn from nature.
Have you ever looked at the flowers, tossing their heads as if beckoning us to their side to share the smiles, the radiance and the colors they can lend to our gloomy days? We just need a discerning eye to pick up that message.
Have you noticed the pace of nature? The slow sprouting seeds, blooming of trees, the forming of fruits, the gentle entry of fall…all give us a lesson that if we wait patiently, all works well.
The first sounds of music come from Mother Nature… the whispering pines, the rustling of leaves, the waters gushing down the cascading streams, the gurgling waterfalls and myriad other sounds define real music. “The earth has music for those who listen.” ― George Santayana
The snow covered peaks, the winter sunshine, the first drops of rain, the dewdrops on the grass, the star studded sky, the moonlight streaming through the trees…they release you from all the anxieties and dilemmas. They are nature’s antidotes to ease our pain.
“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” ― Rachel Carson
Do you like Nature? What has it taught you? You are welcome to share your thoughts on this page.
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