Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Bend, Oregon, United States

Jun 18, 2018 - Winding Down

These last few days were spent mostly relaxing and getting caught up on paperwork, email and internet. One day we went into town to get propane and get stocked up on groceries again. On Sunday the park had free ice cream and a hamburger/hot dog potluck in honor of Father’s Day. It has rained all weekend and mostly overcast with some rain on Monday, which is laundry day (again!) And we will begin our trek to Yellowstone on Tuesday.

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Jun 15, 2018 - Polish Poker and a Superman Blessing

The Merrifield clan is gathered some 50 strong here on the shores of Coeur d'Alene Lake for our biannual family reunion. My grandpa Austin and his six siblings were quite prolific and there are Merrifield kin scattered throughout the Northwest, California, Alaska and beyond, some of whom are together this weekend at Lutherhaven, a camp/retreat center in Northern Idaho. Meals are in the dining hall (thus the Superman meal blessing which I'll be glad to teach you upon request) and games are in our cabin's lounge (I'll teach you Polish Poker...

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Trip Journal

Cum Laude

Jun 14, 2018 - Lava River Cave

This is one of the most popular and heavily visited sites on the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. At a mile in length (the length that is open to the public) it is the longest continuous lava tube in the state of Oregon. The hike is a self-guided journey along 150 stairs and slippery or uneven surfaces, sometimes sandy and sometimes rocky. It is in total darkness, the only light being from individual flashlights or lanterns. There were many times when the only light was from our 2 flashlights. That was plenty in some of the narrower...

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Jun 13, 2018 - Benham Falls

Benham Fall was an easy 1 mile hike through the forest to falls on the Deschutes River. This is a fairly swift river with class 6 rapids in some areas. The water was crystal clear. From the parking area to the falls we had to cross a bridge with an overgrown logjam underneath. According to the sign, logs were tied together and floated to the bridge to help dissipate the strength of the flow and to keep the bridge pilings from being washed away during flooding. Over time more logs and sediment accumulated and flowers and grass began to...

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Jun 12, 2018 - Crater Lake National Park

We had originally planned to stay in this park since it is quite large and we thought we would need more time to enjoy the scenery. As it turned out, the price was rather steep and the spaces were pretty tight for our size of RV, thus we ended up in LaPine. This turned out to be a good thing considering the many things we would have missed otherwise. Anyway, back to Crater Lake. For 400,00 years repeated volcanic eruptions built 12,000 foot Mount Mazama. Thick lava oozed from vents on the mountains. Crater Lake was formed when Mount Mazama...

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Jun 11, 2018 - Lava Butte

After a day at the museum, it was back to the volcano for us. Lava Butte is a cinder cone that rises 500 feet above it’s 9 square mile lava flow. After a 3 mile drive of 8% grade up to the top, there was a forest lookout, which was closed to the public. We took the ¼ mile trail around the top for fantastic views of Newberry Caldera and the surrounding mountains. Hard to believe that something so destructive initially could be so beautiful now. I suppose we may be saying the same of the lava flows in Hawaii in the distant future. We ended...

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Jun 10, 2018 - High Desert Museum

We had noticed a sign for this museum when on our way to Bend the other Day, so thought this might be a good outing for the day. Opened in 1982 as an indoor/outdoor museum, it combines regional wildlife, culture, art and natural resourses to promote an understanding of the natural and cultural heritage of the high desert country. It sits on 135 acres south of Bend, Oregon. The outdoor exhibits and various buildings are connected by a ½ mile long paved walk. There is a 53,00 square foot main building. The museum has more than 18,500...

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Jun 9, 2018 - A Mostly Lazy Day

We didn’t really have anything planned for this day so slept in and had a late breakfast. Then we just drove around the area a bit, going through the state park and driving through some of the housing areas. I wouldn’t mind living here in the summer, but they get way too much snow in the winter for me.

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Jun 8, 2018 - Lava Cast Forest

Today’s main trip was to the Lava Cast Forest, a 1 mile loop through a lava flow area. We had no idea what to expect here. The trail started fairly vanilla with just the usual trees and bushes, then we began to see more twisted trees and more of the Ah Ah type (small lava rocks) of lava in the area. Then we saw a round hold in the middle of a lava field, which turned out to be the lava cast. The original lava surrounded the trees, which eventually rotted away, leaving a perfect cast of the tree trunk. Many years ago these casts were quite...

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Jun 7, 2018 - Newberry National Volcanic Monument

After a day of rest ( ha! We drove in to Bend to go shopping) we were excited to begin exploring the area. The first stop was the Newberry Caldera, the largest in the Cascade range. It’s eruptive history began 400,00 years ago and created massive lava flows covering 1,200 square miles. After a scenic drive up to the top we had views of Paulina Lake and East Lake. We also got our first glimpse of The Big Obsidian flow. Our interest piqued, that was to be our next stop. But on the way we took a short side trip to see Paulina Falls, twin falls...

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Jun 5, 2018 - On to Oregon

It was a short trip to our next campground, in LaPine, Oregon. We are 31 miles south of Bend. It turned out to be a nice open campground with large grassy sites. With the requisite RR tracks of course! Trixie really liked being in grass again! This is a really pretty part of the country, a little east of the Cascade mountain range. It is in the Deschutes National Forest and is known for the volcanic activity in the region.

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Oct 5, 2017 - Santium Pass

When we drove here from Portland, we went through some incredible scenery that we could not appreciate adequately. When you are 65' long and zipping down the road with faster drivers stacked up behind you, it's hard to stop to smell the roses. The prettiest part of the route followed the Santium River, which twisted and turned as rivers do. The driver really had to concentrate. So we retraced our steps partway today, lingering here and there. Even with the car, today's trip involved plenty of U-turns and long walks back to the prettiest...

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