We went camping last weekend, over near Bend, Oregon. Shaun was signed up for a triathlon, so I took a half day off Friday and we got away. It was nice to not think about work (or lack thereof).
We took the trailer and camped at the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, right in the caldera of an (active!) volcano in the Deschutes National Forest.
This is looking out over East Lake, toward the cinder cone in the middle of the crater, between East Lake and Paulina Lake. The beach of this lake is composed mainly of weathered rhyolite, pumice, and obsidian. Obsidian! Pumice! In the wild!
I have always wanted to see pumice and obsidian. So cool. The look of total wonder and astonishment on Emma's face when I showed her a rock that floats was priceless. I felt like a hero.
The day after Shaun's race, we walked the Big Obsidian Flow trail, which was amazing. It's a lava flow, an actual lava flow.
Made of obsidian, rhyolite, and pumice.
See all that shiny black rock? Obsidian. I just can't get over it. Obsidian. Boulders of it.
That afternoon, we went to the Lava River Cave, which is the longest lava tube in Oregon.
The tunnel is a mile long, and we walked all the way to the end (and back). It was interesting, but dark and cold (42°F). Emma got really cold, and a bit scared even though we had a lantern, and was glad to get back to the surface.
The last place we went on the trip was the Lava Butte Visitor Center and overlook. This is a 500-foot tall cinder cone that spewed out a basalt lava flow 7000 years ago. This is the crater at the top:
and this is the view from the top, looking out over the edge of the lava flow toward the Newberry Crater.
It was a really fun trip, and quite educational. I had no idea that central Oregon was so visibly volcanic. When I think of "lava flows," I think of Hawaii, not the deserts of Oregon.
(I saw obsidian! Yay!)