Circling Crater Lake: A Beautiful (And Grueling) View Of A Formal Volcano

For those who have never seen it, Crater Lake is a sight to behold. “It Inspires Awe,” as The Oregon State Parks website describes it. Native Americans witnessed its formation 7,700 years ago, when a violent eruption triggered the collapse of a tall peak. For hundreds of years, scientists and naturalists, tourists and travelers, have marveled at its purity: fed by rain and snow, it’s the deepest lake in our country (deeper than Lake Tahoe) and one of the most pristine on Earth. Artists, photographers, and sightseers, including my stunned wife Meg, have gazed in wonder at its blue water and stunning setting atop the Cascade Mountain Range in Southern Oregon. So who’s insane idea was it to hold a bicycle race around the perimeter, aptly titled “Ride The Rim”? Put together by Discover Klamath Visitor and Convention Bureau, this 34 mile trip around Crater Lake looked like a beautiful way to spend a few biking hours when my Oregon-based junior high school-era friend Bob suggested we enter the ride three years ago. We completed the ride in about three hours back in 2019, earned our biking jerseys and waited patiently for the COVID/Forest Fire-related cancellations to pass so we could do the ride again. With the ride back on this year, I trained mercilessly to be ready to take those steep inclines (and Bob) on. Finishing the ride in just over three hours, with Bob several lengths ahead of me, two thoughts popped into my head: 

  1. Nature does not care how old you are
  2. I’m officially old

Maybe a third thought popped in as well: “Why did I do this to myself?” The answer: because I still can 🙂

John Young