August 11th, 2014

Twisted at the Lava Cast Forest, Newberry National Volcanic Monument

 

dried-wood-whale-eye

Have I ever mentioned that I love Oregon? The terrain here is so varied and vast, and I’ve barely scratched the surface of what this state has to offer.

Last month, a friend and I went camping south of Bend at the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. We camped at the Paulina Lake campground and despite the surprising amount of mosquitoes (I’ve never seen so many mosquitoes since leaving Minnesota) and some chillier than anticipated days and nights (I made the assumption that it would be as hot and dry as camping glamping north of Bend at Kah-Nee-Ta), it was an amazing time.

On the way home we stopped at the incredibly impressive, lunar-like Lava Cast Forest. Lava flow encased the bottoms of large Ponderosa pines and left ruins of tree-shaped casts in the charcoal-grey landscape. Dead Ponderosa’s showed their twisted wood and were decorated with an almost phosphorescent chartreuse green lichen. Even though the land was still covered with encased with lava, shrub-steppe plants like Indian Paintbrush, currents and sagebrush popped out of the earth.

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