Crater Lake – April 19, 2019
My husband has been eager to see Crater Lake with winter snow, so we waited for a promising weather weekend, and our friends found a cozy cabin in Prospect, Oregon. Friday morning we drove to the rim of Crater Lake where a small parking area provides access to the rim road, which is otherwise covered in several feet of snow. The views were stunning – the sky, the lake, the snow each so pure of color! We snowshoed about 2.5 miles clockwise along the road, nearly to the base of The Watchman.
First view of Crater Lake from Rim Village
We were heading toward The Watchman for our destination.
Stopping for views along the way.
Mt Shasta to the south, in California
Panorama view at our lunch stop
Perfect view of Wizard Island
Closer view of the crater on Wizard Island,
and the curvy shoreline of the lake.
Looking back at The Watchman and Hilman Peak before we return.
Mt Scott and Garfield Peak ahead as we snowshoe back to Rim Village.
Rim Village buildings under snow.
(Hike#17/ 5.6 miles/ 600 feet)
Rogue River/Mill Creek Waterfalls – April 20, 2019
Saturday morning was rainy, but mostly dry by the afternoon. There are several waterfalls along the Rogue River near Prospect, Oregon. We followed a beautiful wooded trail along Mill Creek to Pearsony Falls, and then farther, to a view of The Avenue of Boulders, and then followed the canyon rim to the lip of Mill Creek Falls for a lunch stop.
Avenue of the Boulders
Avenue of the Boulders highway bridge
Lip of Mill Creek Falls
Lip of Mill Creek Falls, lunch stop
Mill Creek Falls and Rogue River
Madrone trees along the trail
We also admired the views from the Highway bridge over The Avenue of the Boulders.
Looking down the Avenue of the Boulders from the bridge.
After lunch we went to the Mill Creek Falls Trailhead and followed the path to the viewpoint of Mill Creek and Barr Falls.
Mill Creek Falls
Closer view of Mill Creek Falls
Mill Creek Falls lunch stop was just to the left of the lip.
Barr Creek Falls
We saw many forest wildflowers, lungwort lichen, and moss:
We then drove to the Natural Bridge area of the Rogue River near Union Creek. We had to walk in from the highway, as the access road is not yet open. Here the river is supposed to disappear from surface view into a lava tube, but there is so much spring runoff just now that the water is overflowing the top of the lava tube, and the natural bridge is not obvious.
Upstream view of the Rogue River
Downstream view of the Rogue River
Rogue River flowing over the top of the lava tube
Rogue River flowing over the top of the lava tube as well as through it.
The bridge to the Natural Bridge
Group shadow portrait
(Hike #18/ 5.4 miles/ 500 feet – for the day)
Lower Table Rock – 4/21/2019
Sunday, we drove back toward Medford to Lower Table Rock, renowned for spring wildflowers. We saw at least thirty one different varieties that I could name. The wide, well maintained trail up the mesa passes through oak woodland that is completely permeated, entwined, carpeted and otherwise overgrown with shiny oily red and green poison oak.
Lower Table Rock – our destination
Swales of rosy plectritis and buttercup meadows
Buttercup meadows under the oak trees at the base of the mesa.
Another view of the Lower Table Rock about halfway up the trail, with fiddle neck and buckbrush in the foreground
Wildflowers in the lower meadows and along the trail to the top:
rosy plectritis, buttercup
Pacific hounds tongue
camas – just beginning to bloom
giant blue eyed Mary
narrow blue eyed Mary
I was excited to see two new-to-me dramatic flowers:
Tolmie’s Mariposa Lily, also called cat ears –
Scarlet fritillary or red bells were right near the top of the trail, and were the only two stems of these I saw. I literally gasped when I looked over and saw them, they were so beautiful. And I could not get any closer due to the proximity of poison oak!
Beyond the red bells, we emerged onto the top of the mesa, which was nearly flat with a long trail, formerly a runway landing strip, across the top to viewpoints of the surrounding landscape. The flowering meadows on top were Sound of Music scenic, and lovely to walk through.
There was a different suite of flowers on the top of the mesa.
Large swales of goldfields
closer view of goldfields
goldfields and rosy plectritis
bicolored lupine, filaree, lomatium, popcorn flower
gold stars and a white flower, possibly a sandwort
New to me – Cowbag clover
We had our lunch at the south edge of the mesa with views toward Medford, the Rogue River valley, and back east toward Crater Lake and Mt McLoughlin.
Crags at our lunch stop.
East view toward Upper Table Rock, also covered with yellow flowers, and the shoulders of Mt Mazama (Crater Lake)
Rogue River valley
Rogue River below
The top of Mt McLoughlin emerging from the clouds
(Hike#19/ 5.1 miles/ 750 feet)
Weekend parting shots:
Nearby farm with grazing elk and Mt McLoughlin at sunset
I finished the Vintage Prim Hat, pattern by Andrea Mowry! Brioche can be tricky, and I fixed a lot of mistakes – both tinking and frogging.
close up of garter stitch and brioche rib
Garter stitch side
Reversible to the green side