Photos and words by April Larivee
Crater Lake. Its creation is the result of Mount Mazama’s self destruction. The eruption destroyed the summit, and the crown collapsed into its partially emptied neck. From this violence beauty triumphed and the lake sits like a jewel set into the Cascades.
I arrived at the crater half way through the day and obtained a backcountry permit. That night the moon would be nearly full and I was looking forward to seeing the lake in this light. Taking as little and as light of a pack as possible I threw my bivy, ground pad and sleeping bag into a day pack and hiked out along the west rim. I scouted out a spot to enjoy the changing light for the next 14 hours. I watched as the sun set through the forest in the west. The warm light faded to dark cool night, and I waited for the rise of the moon who’s light was just barley visible on the horizon. The moon rose and traced a path across the sky, its reflection glistening on the surface of the lake below. The night was surprisingly dark relative to the many I have had in granite cirques and on reflective desert soils. I awoke to the glorious rising sun breaking the east rim, the lake flooded with light. I enjoyed this early morning a while and headed back to my pickup with a light heart.