Volcanic Legacy

A Destination Along a Journey
Point Comfort Lodge is near the start or end depending on where you begin the nearly 500 mile Volcanic legacy All-American Road connecting Crater Lake in Oregon with Mt. Lassen – Lake Almanor in California. The road passes by Point Comfort Lodge’s front door.

The Senses that Come To Play
Every sense plays a song along the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, All-American Road.  The seasonal changes extend from crisp winter mornings and cold winter nights with sparkling moonlit snow to the gentle glow of the morning summer sun and breezes of afternoon that drifts off the Cascades and across the placid waters of Upper Klamath Lake.  The brilliant sprays of color that edge the vast lakes and rivers harken autumn and trigger the prehistoric urge of humans to hunt for food in preparation for the long months of winter sustenance.  The flight of migratory birds to warmer climates fills the air with symphonic sound and perpetual motion as they navigate the flyway.  Spring is heralded by the return of vast fields of migratory birds and nesting residents who soon lead their little ones into the world.  Deer and elk calve in the riparian environments.  Occasional sighting of a fawn or calf always creates a thrill for the scenic byway traveler.  Sometimes a person can taste the sweet tang of the sagebrush on the high desert or the cool clear water of mountain springs — refreshing to the spirit.  The scent of wild flowers, fresh mown hay, or the simple musky smell of the Forest can be appreciated.  Every stop can offer a new feel, from pine cones to lava rock, mushrooms, to the soft touch of a fallen feather….the stuff that brings back childhood memories of unrestrained freedom of discovery and wonder.  The feelings of grandeur that well up in one’s chest when perched on a rock with a view for miles of forest, water, hills and valleys is difficult to describe, as the visual diversity and harmony plays the chords within one’s soul.  Those moments can make one feel the joy of life and the transient nature of our short lifespan in the vast web of nature.

fort klamath, oregon volcanic legacy all-american road. photo by anders tomlinson.
Why take this All-American Road?
One or two days of discovery along this scenic byway may not be enough when one begins to learn of the special attributes….the bubbling springs that flow into Upper Klamath Lake along the base of the Cascades, the fact that the lake is an ancient lake that would be alkaline were it not for the springs and water resources that have flowed for several million years.  The flyway for migratory birds is ideal for the avid bird watcher where over 400 bird species are known to be found.  Crater Lake Rim is like being on the top of the world and the lake is the most awesome, deep blue water you will have the opportunity to gaze upon.  The geologic perfection of the cirque created by Mt. Mazama is easily observed and accessible.  The drive along the base of the Cascades through cattle country, Upper Klamath Lake National Wildlife Refuge and the Winema National Forest offers delightful photographic opportunities.  Places along the byway offer interpretive information and food/lodging services from primitive camping to luxurious resort services to meet the needs of a variety of travelers.  The people of Klamath Country are friendly and are happy to generously share the beautiful and wondrous natural resources at their back door.

Christina Lilienthal