AROUND THE BEND IN
We planned to visit Bend, Oregon because we heard many good things about the town-cool, hip neighborhoods, beer, volcanic lava flows, great hiking & mountain biking and-- did I say beer? Well it was all that and more. Our first stop was in the "old mill" district.
Okay-- a vintage motorcycle shop that is also a coffee roaster that serves locally brewed beer on tap AND has a kickass patio with food trucks serving homemade Himalayan dumplings among other things. Two minutes in we turned to each other and simultaneously said " I could live here!"
We actually stayed about 15 miles south of Bend at LaPine State Park. This campground was right on the Deschutes River and had excellent biking trails along the river through pine forests.(I liked it because it was relatively flat- though sandy)
LaPine State Park is also the home of Oregon's largest Ponderosa Pine, 162 feet tall, 8 1/2 feet in diameter and 500 years old.
Newberry National Volcanic Monument was
established in 1990
We drove to the high point of the Newberry Caldera (Paulina Peak) to get an overview of the two lakes and the big obsidian flow. The Newberry Monument includes 54,000+ acres of lava flows, lakes and cinder cones.
The Big Obsidian Flow
We hiked a short trail through the obsidian flow. It's difficult to tell from those photos but some of the boulders were as large as small cars.
The Lava Cast Forest
We also visited the unique lava flow that engulfed a forest about 7,000 years ago and left lava casts of the trees it covered.
The trees have long ago burned and left holes where they once were.
The Cinder Cone
Cinder cone viewed from the lava flow below.
Looking into the crater from the top of the cinder cone with another volcanic mountain in the background.
The Longest Lava Tube Cave in Oregon
The lava tube is a little over a mile long and it's VERY dark in there!! Now it's back to Bend for more beer...