Muir Lake (Crater Lake), Eagle Cap Wilderness—Alpine Lake at ± 2300 meters.

The name, Crater Lake, is I think unfortunate because it creates a constant
confusion between the much more famous Crater Lake of the Oregon Cascades,
and the much smaller one pictured above. Since I'm using this area as one
of my basecamps for exploring the Wallowas, and I'm there making photos and
writing regularly, I've taken to calling it Muir Lake in honor of the great
19th century naturalist, John Muir. I think Muir would have loved it here,
with signs of recent glaciation everywhere, with the lake itself carved by ice,
high, fine, former moraines surrounding it, and bright, almost white granite in
abundance, very much like the glacier polished rocks of the high Sierra Nevada
where Muir made his home and did most of his extraordinary field work.

Below is a little occasional children's poem on this theme or
problem of names. For if we pause a moment and consider
it, place names. especially a place of great beauty and power
like the High Wallowas of present Northeastern Oregon, really
are the beginnings of the poetry, the first poetry of a place.

On the road in the Northwest of America.

Muir Lake (Crater Lake)a children's poem
in common time

[On why the name of Crater Lake under
Krag Peak might best be changed]

Names, Sirs, are the first poetry of place,
A lake so beautiful must find its own sound,
And write upon the granite the icefields once found,
A name that rings true, and enchants the space.

The cheap imitation,
The mere 2nd-hand,
A map-maker's frustration,
A curse upon the land.

For so we remember the charm of a face,
A pass, a mountain, a butte, a stream,
A stone, a waterfall, a cliff, a dream,
For so we remember the charm of a face,
Names, Sirs, are the first poetry of place.

Eagle Cap Wilderness,
Oregon, VIII.19.2008

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South/North Sister—
first light
Black Butte
Ponderosa Pines— after burn Manzanita

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Photograph by Cliff Crego © 2008
(created: VIII.7.2008)