Vacation Wrap-Up

The Nelsen kids checking out Crater Lake.  The lake is actually at least 2,000' below although it looks quite a bit closer.  Nice view of the quick dropoff in the landscape under the water.

The Nelsen kids checking out Crater Lake. The lake is actually at least 2,000' below although it looks quite a bit closer. Nice view of the quick dropoff in the landscape under the water.

Finally, after about 30 years, I took the boat tour.  We found the "Old Man of the Lake"!

Finally, after about 30 years, I took the boat tour. We found the "Old Man of the Lake"!

I’ve got a few pictures here from this past week’s vacation.  It was one of those “perfect” vacations where I had no contact with the outside world (okay, one cell phone call) from Saturday through the following Friday morning.  My family and I spent 3 nights at Diamond Lake, near Crater Lake.  Then we headed up to Waldo Lake for three nights in our little “Craigslist” travel trailer.   To me camping at a Cascade Lake campground is probably the pinnacle of the Pacific Northwest experience.  You’ve got all our native hemlocks, douglas fir, noble firs and other trees smelling up the air real nicely.  The lakes are usually pretty clean, and mosquitoes come after you with a vengeance in the evening or anytime the breeze stops.

Crater Lake was incredibly blue this time, more than I remembered…probably because of a very blue sky and no haze.  I wasn’t aware that it’s okay to swim in the lake…I’ll make sure I bring the swimsuit next time even though it’s real cold.  Also I had never heard about the Old Man of the Lake.  A solitary tree that’s been floating around in the lake (upright) for over 100 years!  The link can tell you more about it.
Not the best picture, but you get the idea.  Waldo Lake's water is incredibly clear...this is my shadow (in the inflatable kayak) down into about 15' of water!

Not the best picture, but you get the idea. Waldo Lake's water is incredibly clear...this is my shadow (in the inflatable kayak) down into about 15' of water!

Waldo Lake at sunset during a heat wave.  On this day it was 97 in Portland, but only about 83 up there at 5,400'.  A perfect day in the Cascades

Waldo Lake at sunset during a heat wave. On this day it was 97 in Portland, but only about 83 up there at 5,400'. A perfect day in the Cascades

Waldo Lake is a hidden treasure that I also didn’t know much about.  It’s located about 15 miles north of Willamette Pass.  Apparently it’s one of the clearest lakes in the world, second only to Crater Lake here in Oregon.  There is so little “life” in the water that the purity is similar to distilled water.  No gas motors are allowed on the lake, so it’s a real kayaking/canoeing/sailing place…very quiet.  Your first thought on seeing the water close up is “wow…those blues and greens are incredible!”.  I measured 67 degrees even a few feet down in the water, which was warm enough for snorkeling on a hot day.  The colorful experience was similar to snorkeling in Hawaii, except for no signs of life, just some occasional mossy/algae spots.  Riding a bike through the standing dead forest of the huge Charleton Burn of 1996 was neat too; that’s along the north shore of the lake.

All good things have to come to an end, but at least it’s back to a job I enjoy.  Quite a roller coaster weatherwise the next few days.  A quick trough swinging by tomorrow cools us off, then the next trough digs well offshore pushing a hot ridge up over the Pacific Northwest for a few days.  A nice stretch of summer weather will finish out the month of August.  Some of you may be tired of the hot weather, but we’ve seen plenty of gloomy days inbetween the hot ones as well, plus the long rainy periods of Fall and Winter can’t be too far off right?
Chief Meteorologist – Mark Nelsen 

34 Responses to Vacation Wrap-Up

  1. Tetra says:

    Took a ride on my tricycle today and it’s great weather for it too.

    I had a high of 75F which is -6 departure for KSLE *Salem Airport* The average high for august is 81.9F while July is 81.2F.

    Normal Rainfall is 0.68″ for August while July is 0.57″

  2. Tetra says:

    Mine too. Like I said we are overdue for a cold streak which may mean an early frost/freeze so when fall comes keep en eye on the weather.

    Unless fall turns out to be balmy and boring also then throw the pie in my face.

    75.2F here and mostly cloudy but it looks sunny northwards towards Portland.

  3. k5mitch says:

    PERFECT WEATHER 70.3 F, it feels like fall is just a round the corner. 🙂 my fav time of the year.

    • Justin (Brush Prairie) says:

      For all you thunderstorm geeks out there, it’s looking like we might have our best shot at anything in quite awhile early on Friday. The atmosphere should be fairly warm and unstable, and some lift should be provided as a front makes its way through late in the morning. Either way we’ll probably see moisture, but the GFS for the time being is showing a decent shot at some convective precip breaking out ahead of the front. Just something to keep watch on, it’ll probably be another dreary, weak non event.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      Hm, looked at the models, and looks promising, not sure what will happen…

      If anything, these storms will be unimpressive, and will be quick warm ups even in comparison to what we saw on May 24th 2008.

  4. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Wow my internet connection was acting up today, tried posting a comment at 9 am…

    (Comment as of 9 am)

    Sounds like you had fun Mark! I haven’t been able to do anything like that,
    my mom and dad work too much. I did go to places around the Cascades on high school field trips anyhow, and they were fun. Last one I remember was when I had to go to Mirror Lake, near Government Camp, was pretty fun. I heard Crater Lake was the best in Oregon, I need to try that one.

    About the weather this morning…

    Did turn out to be a cloudy sunrise. No mist here until about 7:00 am. right now it actually looks like its raining, I see some good drops hitting the ground, making it wet out here.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      Well its been sunny the last couple hours here. 68F here. Wish it was warmer, kinda cool-ish.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      Hmm, NWS still sticking with that 90 on Thursday… I want to see how this plays out.

  5. 74° and I will call it party sunny now.

  6. Tetra says:

    Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh it’s 72.9F here and mostly cloudy and mostly boring.

  7. Tetra says:

    We are overdue for a below average streak.

  8. Still mostly sunny, clouds are dissipating, 66.7°

  9. yetanotherguy says:

    This has been a very boring weather summer. Warmer than normal, but very little thunder, even for Portland.

    • Tetra says:

      The worst kind of summer I hate. Warmer with heatwaves and boring. 😛

      It’ funny how we are having *Global Warming* type weather while back east they have been shivering wondering if they are EVEN going to get summer.

  10. Still sunny but the clouds are beginning to move in, 57.1°

  11. Rather damp morning here…..light rain….0.05″ so far since 7am….

    55.3F

  12. Andrew Johnson (Silverton) says:

    Misty morning out there. 55 degrees.

  13. Low of 44.1° and mostly sunny skies this morning. I can see some low clouds at west edge of town, time will tell if they make it all the way through town.

  14. Punxsutawney (aka HIO Phil at work by Sunset High) says:

    Hi Mark,

    I know you enjoy riding your mountain bike. When the kids get a bit older, there is a very manageable mountain bike trail circling Waldo Lake. I want to say it’s 21 miles total. Just don’t leave in the afternoon like I did.

  15. Punxsutawney (aka HIO Phil at work by Sunset High) says:

    Morning Westside Weather Report

    Overcast with some light mist that has developed in the last hour around the Beaverton area. Enough to get the ground wet, but not really a problem. Temps in the mid 50’s

  16. muxpux says:

    Tetra, finding a good camping spot? ask a local. theres a reason you “knew” all the good spots in cali, thats what you knew. ask a local around here and we can tell you 10 different areas that are pristine and quiet.

    ive never “camped” somewhere i had to hike to, yet never “cramped” in your terms, and i usually camp less than 5 miles (as the crow flies) from Mt. St. Helens, right off the road.

    problem is in cali you HAVE to hike off the beaten path to be secluded.

    oh, and camping “off-season” (i.e. not labor day, 4th, memorial day, etc…) helps too.

    ive always camped off forest roads made of gravel inside the Gifford Pinchot/St. Helens national monument, and never had problems being “cramped”, or a bunch of motorhomes…they tend to stick to paved roads. there was the one time we used the generator in my g-pas old truck to power up some convenient appliances (TV, XBOX, etc…)
    /soapbox

    in weather related news, 79.2/54.2 here, 81/45 at the Kelso airport.

    looks like some bands of “rain” are trying to make it here…well see…

  17. Tetra says:

    56.3F outside though it feels chiller then last night. Are you using that gas fireplace Cherie? 😉

  18. Tetra says:

    57.6F outside. May dip in da 40s. No heat yet. Know heat yet. 🙂

  19. Tetra says:

    Recently we *me and Dad* had found what looks like some remot places on Goggle Earth on NFD *National Forest Department* roads that look quite a bit out of the way for most people.

    It would be fun to check em out if dad can ever get the time off.

    We don’t do camping anymore cause it makes Dad’s back too stiff but my parents have always dreamed of getting this thing called a *pop up tent*.

    Don’t know what it really does other then it’s suppose to be elevated off the ground.

    Gawd I hope my post wasn’t too confusing and criticial as I do like Mark’s pictures. 🙂

  20. Jesse-Orchards says:

    Sounds like an awesome vacation, Mark!

    It’s been three years since I was last at Crater Lake and even longer since I’ve been to Waldo. Makes me want to go back.

  21. Tetra says:

    I stopped reading as soon as you said you enjoyed Oregon *camping* which is quite a joke here and I’ll explain my reasoning.

    We first came up here in the mid 1990s and during our first few summers here we drove around the Cascades hoping to find some decent camping spots cause we missed being up in the mountains.

    Down in California when we lived a good chunk of the camping requires you to actually *gasp* 😮 hike from the car to your spot.
    Hike as in put the pup tent over your shoulder and use your own two feet and go wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy back in the wilderness.

    Most of the *camping* or as we call it *cramping* here means that you take your whole house with you and quite a few even had Satilite TV dishes they took with them so they can watch TV when the point of going away to nature is to see nature.

    We watch TV at times but we do it at home or at a hotel/motel not while we are camping.

    The crowds:

    It was as if *ALL* of Portland came on over and the distance between actual camping slots are to the point you can shake hands with your neighbor…………….I kid you not. We actually quit going.

    They make you pay outrages prices for it too and you have to do this thing called *reservations* which was a new term for us cause up in the Sierras at the time it was all first come-first serve and the spots were far enough that you had quite a bit of privacy from your neighbor.

    Several lakes like Gumboot lake *if that’s how you spell it* or Butte lake are like what I described has what I described.

    That’s how we did our camping growing up in California when it got hot though not the hike from your car part because mom and me weren’t in shape for it. *we are whimps* 😛

    We joke around *privatly of course* about how Oregon defines *camping*

    Washington is a little better and we found some neat camp sites we liked below Hurricane Ridge that doesn’t seem so close to your neighbors.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Tetra, there are plenty of secluded places to camp in Oregon, probably more than in California, you just have to find them.

  22. PaulB/Eugene says:

    Pay attention to tropics… Unusual situation with slowly developing TS Hilda SE of Hawaii.. Some models track it over or near the Islands… Not looking like an Iniki but something more like 75-85mph cat 1 hurricane with main hazards being heavy rains. Most likely scenario is storm tracking W, staying south of islands but some models slow it down and let it get caught by trough approaching from W.

  23. EA_TTD says:

    Glad the vacation was good…pic’s look wonderful. For those looking for a great out of the way campsite, Badger Lake will not dissapoint. Big lake with only 5 campsites. To get there, take the Wamic forst service rode off of Hwy 35 for 16 miles, then a left for 12 miles. You will go through rugged terrain (no cars or Craigslist trailers)and it will take you an hour to go those 12 miles, but the payoff is worth it! Tents only and bring all of your supplies. GREAT place and you are completely away from everything.

  24. Ben Randall says:

    i dont know about that mark remeber last years winter we had lots of sunshine during the fall and winter.

  25. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Mark, welcome back and that sounded like a great vacation. Nice pics as well especially of Waldo Lake. I have not been there yet as well as Davis Lake, but I have to all of the Central/Northern Lakes on the Cascade Lakes highway. The pic you took showing the clarity to me resembled Little Crater Lake near Timothy Lake.

  26. Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

    Great pics Mark! When I was at Crater Lake in April, there was still 20′ of snow in areas. Good to see things are still pristine up there years after it’s discovery.

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