Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Newberry Volcano: Big Obsidian Flow

From Paulina Peak, we drove around to East Lake and pulled into the East Lake Resort, which didn't look all that impressive even though we got some good pictures there.

East Lake Resort

We continued on through a campground, half of which had been closed that morning for the winter season. When the road ended, we turned around and headed back toward the Big Obsidian Flow. As you could see form Paulina Peak, there's a part of the flow which comes very close to where the road is, and there's a parking lot carved out of the trees at that point. From there, a loop trail meanders up onto the Obsidian flow and provides both a glimpse into the amazing destructive properties of volcanoes, as well as a good vantage point above the trees to see the greater valley area.

Obsidian Flow

After finishing up at the Obsidian Flow, I let Darrick convince me to drive 50 miles on dirt Forest Service roads to get back to US-20 instead of taking the paved roads back to US-97. This would put us on the highway about 20 miles East of Bend instead of 20 miles South.

Deschutes National Forest - Forest Road 18

Now, on these roads, there is truly nobody around. Even though they're mostly gravel and rock, I drive "like a bat out of hell" (Darrick's words) for a good 30 miles before we stop for lunch and to change drivers, since I'd driven all day and was getting tired of it. Truthfully though, the washboard-textured roads are a much smoother ride at 50mph than they are at 20mph, mostly because at that speed your tires aren't on the ground long enough to notice the non-flat nature of said ground. We were, of course, safe drivers... the fast speeds were attained on very straight, flat portions of the road where we could see plenty around us.

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