Since long before moving to the dazzling state of Oregon, Crater Lake's visage was known to us. Images, both those faithfully enhanced and those driven to HDR insanity (an art form I enjoy, but set separate from true-to-life capture) set very high expectations.
After waiting 20 minutes in a line at the park gatehouse to fork over our $10, we had about ten more miles to rid ourselves of expectations before coming to the edge of the Rim Road. We caught the second pull off, and...
It's stunning. Amazing. In scale, beauty and... diversity. Azure water unlike I've seen! Rimmed by trees, slides, cliffs, patches of snow... in August! A gut-punch of ravishing beauty that drives one to tears. Well, me, anyway, but I tend to overflow with the joy of life fairly often and easily.
Each pull-off gave you a different view, and it never got old, for each angle showed something not seen yet.
We had a late lunch at the lodge, which is gorgeous and relaxing, well updated and maintained. The day was leisurely, for we'd no plans other than do the Rim Road and find our way home sometime before midnight. We were there just after noon, which is unfortunately the worst light of the day for landscape photography; high and harsh, it hits at a perpendicular angle and leaves out the amazing depth that light coming across the landscape parallel creates; high noon rays also enhanced the haze that kept the distant ridge of the crater from being sharp. Morning or afternoon light would have been in order if the primary goal of this trip had been a great photograph. But my goal to work the CCD was tempered by adventuring, relaxing... and sleeping in.