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Pumice Castle and The Old Man of the Lake

Hidden : 11/09/2003
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Size: Size: virtual (virtual)

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Geocache Description:

See Pumice Castle, an amazing geologic formation. If you are extremely lucky, you may also see The Old Man of the Lake, a frequent visitor to Pumice Castle who has been meandering around the northeastern half of the lake since the late 1800's.

Pumice Castle is very noticeable on the east wall of Crater Lake because of its bright orange color and pinkish-brown turrets, making it stand out from its surroundings.

A thick layer of pumice and ash from the eruption that formed Crater Lake caldera blankets much of the caldera rim. Other layers of pumice and ash, like the orange Pumice Castle, are deposits from older, smaller explosive eruptions

Read about this geologic wonder from the roadside overview sign near these coordinates.

See the attach photo of Pumice Castle.

And only if you are lucky will you see its' frequent visitor, The Old Man of The Lake.

The Old Man of The Lake is a vertically floating conifer log on Crater Lake that has been observed as early as 1896 and was probably there long before that. It appears to be rooted to the bottom of the lake wherever it is seen, but it is floating. The Old Man is about 30 feet long and has a diameter of roughly two feet at waterline. Its top stands approximately four feet out of water and is bleached white. The exposed end is splintered but buoyant and wide enough to support a person's weight.

See attached photo of Old Man of the Lake.
See attached map of its movements around Crater Lake.

In 1896, the Old Man floated just as it does at present. When The Old Man slipped into the lake, it may have had rocks bound within its roots. This might naturally make it float vertically, though no rocks appear to still be there. At any rate, the submerged end could become heavier over time through being waterlogged. Acting like the wick on a candle, the shorter upper portion of the Old Man remains dry and light. This apparent equilibrium allows the log to be very stable in the water.

TO PROVE YOU HAVE VISITED THIS VIRTUAL SITE: Email to me the first two words and the last two words of the Pumice Castle overview sign. Go ahead and post your find.

Have fun and enjoy the beauty and adventure of Crater Lake.


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1,061 Logged Visits

Found it 1,039     Didn't find it 4     Write note 18     

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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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