Sitting on the water’s edge of Crater Lake, I decided to shiver in the shade with the notion that I will burn soon enough out on the water. Two tour boats circled the lake twice a day to grant guests a view upon the lake, which I partook. To watch the lake is simply memorizing. I imagine the clear water as a gelatin of jade becoming aqua blue beyond the shore, reflecting the sun to enhance its elegance.
Being the cleanest lake in the world, sun light reaches the bottom at almost three thousand feet below. As impressive as the lake is, it only makes up seven percent of the National Park. The mountains encircling the lake are the remains of a collapsed volcano that once towered above, over seven thousand years ago. The eruption of Mount Mazama caused the crater, which filled with water as years passed. An underwater volcano has erupted since to form a cone shaped island on the lake known as Wizard Island.
With the banning of aircrafts and absence of boating traffic, an absolute silence performs beautifully. From the waterfront to the park’s veteran resident, Ranger Dave, calmness resonates throughout. Close or afar, the lake is as flat as can be. I watched the wind delicately brush against the surface like a paintbrush to fresh canvass. The few ripples that shattered the mirror of mountains surrounding originate from the tour boats and brave citizens who dare swim in the freezing water mass.
Crater Lake National Park is one of the most tranquil places I have ever been. On a trail, on the road, or on the boulders of the lakeside; an abundance of peace was revealed. A brief, but unforgettable discussion between a father and son sparked by a sudden mountain biker caught my ear as I was trekking a trail. Within seconds of the bicyclist passing the boy questioned his father with excitement,
“You can ride your bike here?”
“Yep”, the father answered happily.
His son responded with surprise,
“Wow, I didn’t know that!”
The tone of the boy’s voice was what really withdrew me from my own thoughts. The pure joy and curiosity that fuelled his mind to discover more confirmed his desire to one day bike the mighty National Park. His genuine enthusiasm boosted my own experience on the trail as I reflected upon my own inspirations. The kid’s energy brought a good laugh and healthy smile, yet his honestly was most notable. I needed to be honest with myself. Am I really happy? Even as I suffered the horrors of food poisoning for days, acknowledging this present nightmare that may ruthlessly return as I travel abroad Southeast Asia in coming weeks.
My momentary encounter had made me ponder for some time and in conclusion, I am beyond content. I am a child playing on the world’s jungle gym and it is phenomenal. To solely spend two days submerged in Oregonal Bliss, reflecting my own inner peace was well needed. My mind had settled. Silence ensued and honesty reaffirmed the truth; I am a lucky man.