Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bend, OR and the underground lava tube cave

Fortunately it started getting sunnier once we got over to Bend, OR, but there were still a lot of clouds. I'd like to go back one day to see the full view. But the view we got is still beautiful. We first took a little hike to the beautiful views at the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. I like this picture of Oscar with the volcano behind him.

I kept an eye out for these mini lava tubes.

This is the view from the top of the volcano

And this is the crater view from the top. There was actually a little hike looping around the crater, but we didn't take it due to time constraints.

My friend, Cambria, had recommended we go to the underground lava tube cave. We'd been in a similar one in Hawaii, but fortunately, this one had been smoothed out. They even had stairs and rails. It was a lot easier to tunnel through.

This is how dark it was.

The camera flash showed a little bit of what the cave rock looks like.

We had to rent a lantern.

However, the cave got smaller and smaller towards the end. At one point you had to army crawl. Oscar had to do it while holding the lantern, and his hand touched the ceiling while the lantern slid across the sand as he dragged himself along. I wish I had a picture of it, but he was the one carrying the camera, and the people behind us wouldn't have appreciated our stopping in that cramped space to take a picture. We had a little more space on the way back. Oscar snapped these shots of me at the point where you have to crawl on your knees, but not on your stomach.

We were thrilled to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it hurt our eyes a lot when we came back into the full sunlight. We'd forgotten that it was actually going to be the sunniest point of the day when we came out. I'd been convinced it was going to be twilight.

My pants got "slightly" dirty from the crawl. I wouldn't have worn white pants if I'd realized we'd be on our knees. Luckily they washed out for the most part and I'd gotten them on sale for $8 at Old Navy.

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