Monday, October 4, 2010

Crater Lake and Oregon Caves

I wrote this for other homeschoolers to read but thought I should share it here too.  There are so many things about this trip that I want to share (stars reflecting off the surface of Crater Lake, going to sleep to a Grateful Dead cover band, watching my handy hubby change a flat in the middle of nowhere on a gravel forestry road at dusk, camping with cows, etc.).  Maybe later.

Just back from a week of vacation.  No school for a whole week. Wow! But, we certainly weren't idling the day away next to the pool.  Nope. We were learning.  We spent a couple of days at Crater Lake National Park, a day at Oregon Caves National Monument, and a couple of hours at the Klamath County's Main Museum.

Klamath County's Main Museum has an awesome hands-on exhibit for kids - "Forests for Everyone: Klamath's Living Legacy."  The exhibit shows how forests can be shared by sportsmen, preservationists, foresters, and recreation seekers.  There are many displays about the Modoc Indian Wars along with a huge washtub collection.  But, you know what was really amazing?  The actual newspaper pages from the 1940's taped up on the walls of the bathroom stalls.  It made for great reading along with the 1958 Rand McNally poster of the universe.

Crater Lake was beautiful of course.  We learned how the collapse of Mt. Mazama formed the caldera over 7,000 years ago.  There were so many geological features to see and cliffs to pull the 8yo away from.  Aside from the regular view the movie, drive around the rim, and take a hike, we also decided to stay and view a moon rise over the lake.  A natural forest fire provided the smoke necessary to create a deep orange moon as it peeked over the rim of the lake.

Oregon Caves was nothing like I imagined (I guess I was thinking of Mt. Timpanogos).  The drive was steep with hairpin curves for a good 8+ miles.  The guided tour had strict guidelines - no children under 42", no carrying children, no food, no flashlights, no back, breathing, or heart problems.  I knew I was too out of shape for the entire 90 minute tour, so I bailed at the 110 step exit.  But, what I did get to see was fun to share with my family...especially when the lights went out.  Oh, and on my way down the trail I was able to hang out with a group of five deer.

We even had an educational experience at the primitive campsite we stayed at, Huckleberry Mountain Campground (camping with cows was scary and fun all at same time).  While chopping wood for a fire, Dad exposed a fat grub we think may have been a mountain pine beetle larva.
 Later the 12yo showed me the white fat grub and announced that she was going to eat it.  Crunch!  It was just biscuit dough.

Thank you, Ken, for dragging me out of the house.


Eldon and Janeil Olsen said...

Glad you went along. It sounded like a great time for all.

Imagitext said...

It the day time.

Sweet Polly Purebred said...

Something tells me you are referring to your sleeping arrangements.