We have an insane calling to be where we aren't

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Newberry Volcano National Monument

We were having trouble with the driver's side window that would get stuck in the down position. We have had this problem before and took it to the Ford garage and paid to have it fixed. He wasn't crazy about paying $400 to have it fixed again, went online to youtube and found a fix. If it didn't work, he would take it in. He fixed it. Hurray!

The Big Obsidian Flow formed 1300 years ago is Oregon's youngest lava flow.
Obsidian is very sharp on the edges and was used by the Native Americans for weapons by making arrowheads,spearheads, knives and jewelry.
 


 
There are few places in the continental United States where you can walk in a landscape so utterly foreign. The Big Obsidian Flow is a patch of black and grey volcanic glass covering about 4 square miles of the Newberry Crater floor. We saw everything from the classic jet-black glass suited for Native American tools to frothy grey glass that looks more like a stone sponge than an arrowhead.
It was amazing walking through the lava flow but had to watch where we were putting our feet. The black shiny obsidian was hot from the sun with sharp edges.




As we walked the trail, at the top was a treat with a great view of Lost Lake in the crater and mountains in the background.



Paulina Falls falls 80 feet with twin falls was just a short walk to the overlook but 1/4 mile down to the bottom for a different view.




Paulina Falls spills over the lowest point of Newberry Caldera.
 

After walking around the Big Obsidian Flow and Paulina Falls, we headed over to the lava tube cave for the 1 mile walk into the cave.





The Lava River Cave formed about 80,000 years ago was like entering another world. It is Oregon's longest lava cave extending almost 1 mile.The forest service job did a great job of making the cave very walkable. We walked down 55 steps into darkness requiring our headlamps. Lamps were available at the trailhead for $5 but our headlamps worked just fine keeping our hands free. At times we felt like we were in the belly of a whale with the striations along the walks of the cave.

We made it to the end. It was interesting to spend the time walking a mile underground and listening to the quiet and dark. We took along extra flashlights in case the headlamp's batteries ran out.

There were just a few bats in the cave. With almost 400 caves in Oregon, I bet they found a quieter place tosleep during the day without people walking through.

Oregon has many covered bridges that we will have to return and see. This one is difficult to see though the window as I took the picture.

 
It had been over a month since we had last gotten our mail and had it sent general delivery to the Sunriver post office minus the junk mail. We got a few bills and a Father's Day card with a nice gift card which we promptly used.


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