Newberry Crater National Monument Adventures

| 10/4/2011 9:59:24 PM

Tags: bend oregon, lava cast forest, newberry crater, homeschool, lava butte, Sarah Schartz,

Sarah S HeadshotSo here I sit in the camp trailer after two great days of volcano exploration. For those of you not familiar with Oregon, our state is located on what is called the Ring of Fire – a line of geologic activity that roughly circles the Pacific Ocean. The Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington are made up of volcanoes in various stages from active to extinct. Central Oregon is a great place to visit to learn about volcano activity because there are so many different evidences of activity. Everywhere you look you see lava rock and pumice. 

Lava Cast Forest 

Staycation is a big buzz word these days and while we aren’t exactly in our home-town, we acted like tourists in a town we have lived in and know well. For a total of $10 we had two days of exploration and education. The best place to start is Paulina Peak in the Newberry Crater. This gives a great overall picture of the area. You get a great view of the caldera (collapsed volcano with lakes inside) the Big Obsidian Flow and the lava flow.

Big Obsidian Flow at Newberry Crater  

Next we went to the Lava Cast Forest. For some reason I was thinking this would be petrified trees sticking out of the lava flow. I was wrong. We took a mile long loop hike on the lava flow and found instead strange holes that look remarkably like old fashioned hand dug wells. In fact, they are where trees stood when the lava flowed through the little valley. The trees survived long enough for the lava to cool around them and make these really neat holes. 

Lava Cast 

Nebraska Dave
10/5/2011 5:25:24 PM

Sarah, it sounds like you had a great family vacation. It would be one of my vacations if I ever went on vacation. The first hand touching and seeing of the volcano activities and plant identification is a better lesson in science and botany than any book learning class room can provide. I can see that your little man will be much more educated than any traditional school system graduate can be. It must be the greatest adventures ever for him. Have a great learning adventure day.

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