Grants Pass to Lakeview
July 24, 2016
Miles Driven: 316
Parks Visited: 1
I got lost three times and almost ran out of gas. Good times! Right? I promise myself that I shall never trust in the regularity of gas stations in the part of the country where common sightings include: Don’t Tread on Me flags, ranches named Double Eagle or Running Y, and rusted farm equipment in collapsing barns. Who knew a ½ tank of gas was not enough to roam around Lava Beds NM and make it back to any sort of civilization? I further promise myself to not rely on google maps from my cell phone on the side of the road while crying. I requested ‘Lakeview, OR’, I was misled to a lakeside view at Klamath Falls. I am living the art of my own game.
With views of Crater Lake tantalizing me, today I drove southeast along the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway down to Lava Beds NM. Coming into the park from the north, the strangest landscape I’ve ever seen greeted me. The only way I can describe Devils Homestead is to say it’s like a big flat bed of those lava rocks you get for your grill to help with even heat distribution. Only this grill is several square miles in size with the lava a crumbly-tumbly assortment of varying odd shapes and sizes. I learned that it’s an ‘a’a flow, as opposed to a pahoehoe flow, though there are flows of the that type in the park too. In Hawaiian, the former means “stony rough lava”, the latter “smooth unbroken lava”. I know you were wondering.
Hundreds of cinder cones and hundreds of lava tubes/caves literally litter the park too, the largest concentration in North America – all created by the Medicine Lake Volcano, the largest shield volcano in the Cascades. Really, you’d never guess the low slope of a hill (maybe 30miles in diameter) was a volcano at all. But, like any good tourist, I read all the signs. By the time I hit the Visitor’s Center in the south of the park, I was sweaty (walking on blackened earth under the midday sun is hot work), and a tad sunburned (did I mention I also forgot my suntan lotion?), and at this point getting nervous for my fuel level. Needless to say, I was about as cranky and glum as the Moodometer predicted I’d be.
Until tomorrow from… Twin Falls and the mountain time zone…
PS Don’t take everything I write absolutely seriously. I really did have a great, though sweaty and sometimes panicky, day. Lava Beds is definitely worth a return trip.
Roadtrip! Daily Game
Board Location: California
Happiness: Glum (4)
Energy: Perky (4)
Things are looking a bit bleak in with my game-family at the moment. We're glum and we lost our souvenir somewhere on the road between Oregon Caves and Lava Beds. Even with all the domestic passengers, I apparently spoiled Helen and Harvey staying in luxury on our first night away at the Chateau. Now they are dreading all the camping to come. On the bright side, I suppose it was a good thing we've lost the souvenir. Helen is just far too over-packed to be hoarding gifts early. Whiskers ever remains a joy. His fame allowed us to bypass any reservations required tonight.