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Video: Is there a bigger hole in Oregon?

Crater Lake in southern Oregon was born after a volcano erupted 7,700 years ago and snowmelt and rain began to collect in the resultant caldera.

Well, yes, there might be a bigger hole in Oregon, depending on how you define a hole. But Crater Lake is pretty deep.

On mostly cloudy days – like those shown in this video –the lake’s reflections are a subtler spectacle. Bursts of blue, somehow twice as brilliant as the sky. Dewy green conifers and patchy snow. Mists that blur the horizon, leaving no line between sky and water.

As the video explains, this isn’t a crater from some million-year-old meteor catastrophe. It’s the blown-off top of a volcano whose eruption happened a mere 7,700 years ago. The caldera is about 2,000 feet from rim down to water’s edge, and the water goes down for nearly 2,000 feet more -- the snowmelt and rain of seven-plus millennia.

The other contender for biggest hole in Oregon, by the way, is Hells Canyon, which runs along the state’s eastern edge and is nearly 8,000 feet deep. But that’s more of a crevice, right?

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I spent three days at Crater Lake in late May, when the park was still thawing from winter. For more details on the place, consult the rangers of Crater Lake National Park or the people at the rimtop Crater Lake Lodge.

I’ll just tell you this: Don’t expect the weather to stand still for long, and don’t forget to stop for pie at Beckie’s on the way down the mountain.

“A Minute Away” is a video series in which nothing much happens -- except you see the world, and hear it, and get a respite from workaday life. We’ve covered Machu Picchu, Red Square, the Yucatan, the Alamo, an Alaskan float plane and the reading room of the New York Public Library, among other places. Since early 2013, we’ve been adding a new minute every week (and some of those “minutes” are closer to 120 seconds. So if you’d prefer an hour or two away, we’ve got more than enough here for you…


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