Last week, I traveled to Crater Lake National Park with 42 awesome Buddy Bison students from the Fossil Charter School in Fossil, OR. These 5th – 12th graders traveled 200 miles from the rural high desert to camp at nearby Diamond Lake and explore the unique characterististics of Crater Lake. While the 5th and 6th graders hiked to the top of Watchman Overlook, the 7th – 12th graders enjoyed a 2-hour boat cruise with Ranger Annie for an intimate view of this iconic landscape. They all learned about the remarkable geologic forces that resulted in its creation.
Did you know that Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the U.S. at almost 2,000 feet deep! That’s over six football fields deep! Incredibly, the water from the lake is entirely from rain and snow melt and is some of the clearest water I've seen – we could see the bottom 100 feet below us. With over 5 trillion gallons of water bluer than the sky, the students wondered, “Why is the water so blue?” Since Crater Lake has relatively pure water without sediments, algae and pollution, light can easily pass through and be absorbed, except for the color blue, which is reflected back to us. In many places the water looked tropical in color – just don’t jump into it because the water is a chilly 38 degrees – now that’s cold enough to make my bison fur stand up!
Thank you Emerson Electric for bringing Fossil Charter School into the Buddy Bison program this year and for funding this wonderful park experience that the students will never forget. Our thanks also to Molly McCarthy from Senator Ron Wyden's office for joining us on this memorable day.