|Mostly cattle country|
When we started seriously climbing up Mount Mazuma we were surprised at how much snow was left. By the time we reached the summit, the piles of plowed snow on the sides of the road were twice the height of our car. We turned left on the circle road that goes around the perimeter of the caldera that holds the lake and pulled off at the first opportunity. There wasn't really an official view site here, but we hiked 30 feet uphill to the rim and as we came over the edge, what we saw was this:
|Wizard Island in Crater Lake|
It was surreal. The water was an unbelievable blue mirror reflecting the rock and residual snow of the surrounding volcano. The last time we came here they were burning off the fields in the valley down below and the air was smoky and dense. This time it was crystal clear and all you could do was stand and stare and be amazed.
|Puppies first snow trip|
|Origins of the Rogue River|
dogs on the quarter-mile hike up to the waterfall at the top.
|The falls into the Rogue River Gorge|
Next we stopped at the Natural Bridge. We have seen a lot of arches and natural bridges around the Southwest. Most of them are created by cutting through a rock outcropping. This one is a little different. It started life as a lava tube during the last eruption of Mount Mazuma 6600 years ago.
We followed Highway 62 down to Medford where we got on the interstate and drove back to Ashland. There we stopped for beer and food at a brewpub associated with the Caldera Brewery. They had outdoor seating on terraced wooden decks where dogs were welcome, so we tried out a few of their craft beers and had some light dinner while the waitress brought doggy treats for the schnoodles about every ten minutes. It reminded us of Germany where our dogs were welcome at any restaurant in town. It seemed like a happy ending for a long day of driving.
|Puppies at the pub|