Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Geo 365: Jan. 29, Day 29: Black Crater

Same location as yesterday, looking roughly ENE, toward McKenzie Pass and Black Crater on the horizon. Just as at the "headwaters" of the McKenzie River, there is no surface drainage here, despite receiving quite literally hundreds of inches of snow every winter. A number of arterial roads that cross the Cascades are maintained and kept open through the winter months, with the exception of brief closures during the most intense storms. Route 242, though, closes with the first heavy snow, and is only opened when it's mostly melted off. Typically, the last few drifts are plowed, then the road is opened to exclusively bicyclists and hikers for a few days before being opened to motorized traffic. It generally opens in late June to early July, though in especially heavy snow years, it can be late July, and closes sometime in mid-October to November. Information about the highway can be found here. (Note, they have last fall's closure mislabeled with respect to the year.)

In this area, there are a slew of young flows coming from both Belknap (yesterday's photo) to the north and from the area between North Sister and the highway to the south. They converge on the pass area, then flow off to both the east and west. I've never made any effort to sort out the sources and ages of the flows in the pass area- just enjoyed the sense of awe of the earth renewing itself, and the starkness of the landscape. Come to think of it, though, I'm pretty sure I do have a source at home that might clarify some details on this area. I'll try to remember to bring that in.

Photo unmodified. October 9, 2012. FlashEarth location.

No comments: