If we make a right turn coming out of the Cascade Meadows RV Resort we get to enjoy another scenic marvel not far away. Those just don't seem to end here in the Central Oregon area. Today we made that right turn and took the drive up to Newberry Caldera. This area is all part of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. We made a steady climb up the mountain road. You can take a side road to see Paulina Peak which is the highest point within the Monument. Unfortunately for us, this 4-mile side road was still closed due to snow. So we could not see the viewpoint which would have given us a 360 degree view. Oh well.
We continued on the main road, climbing further, until we reached the parking area for the Big Obsidian Flow. This is a huge lava flow from the most recent eruption of Newberry Volcano, which was 1,300 years ago. It left behind over 170 million cubic yards of obsidian and pumice. There is a hiking trail for viewing the flow area, but due to Annie's inability to go far, we just went up part of the way. Still, the view was wonderful to see. There was a small greenish lake by the lava flow and snow, too.
The whole area sparkled like glass in the sunshine when we saw it. Obsidian is hard volcanic glass that is about 73% silica. Glass is mainly made up of silica. Technical note courtesy of interpretive sign: In a hot, molten state, silica's atoms tend to stick together and create webs of molecules that slow down the movement of all atoms. The surface of this lava flow cooled off before its atoms had time to organize into crystals, so we are left with glass instead.
You could climb a short side trail to get a good view of the lake. The rocks were such a beautiful black color and very slick to the touch.....like glass.
We looked around there for a while. Bruce had to carry Annie up some steep stairs that led to the main trail. After getting a few pics taken, we went back down the stairs to the car.
We continued our drive all the way to the end of this road, which takes you to East Lake. The caldera may have held one large lake, but over the years deposits of pumice and lava have created a division between East Lake and Paulina Lake. The caldera is simple the "hole" like Crater Lake. A caldera is formed after a series of collapses following big eruptions. Lakes formed here in this "hole". East Lake was beautiful. There is a nice primitive campground on the shore of the lake. Not too many campers yet as the season is early.
There was also a campground across the street from the lake which held some good sized RV's. We drove through there and saw mid-sized motorhomes and 5th wheels parked. After a quick drive-by at the campground, we began our downhill trip. We made a stop at the lower lake, Paulina Lake, to eat our picnic lunch. This lake wasn't quite as fantastic looking as East Lake, but still nice. There were a few fishing boats on the lake and more in the resort marina. Folks at our campground told us that there is great fishing at these 2 lakes.
It was another great day for us. I hope it was for you, too.
Note: Jerry left me a comment about the way my photos appear when he views my blog. He wrote that the photos are stacked on top of each other. Hmmmm. When I post them on my blog and I look at them, they are side-by-side. That's why I've written "the photo on the right." So, I apologize if I've confused anyone. I guess I'll not specify where the photo is since they can appear in different places on different computers. Thank you very much, Jerry for bringing this to my attention.
Until next time.....so long for now!
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