Canada 17, 18th July 2006

Returning to Bend there were more views of the mountains.

Last time I was here I spent some time in the High Desert Museum. I called in briefly to remind myself that yes it was one of the World Class museums alongside such as the Chisholm Trail Heritage Centre or the Oregon Trail Interpretative Centre. On reflection I presume that it is this type of museum the balloon museum at Albuquerque is trying to emulate, but failing miserably in the process.

Then I climbed a cinder mountain. Well actually I drove up it. There used to be lots of volcanoes around here, volcanoes expel lava and cinders. Here is a picture of the cinder mountain, with some lava in the foreground. The cinders stay in big piles, the lava flows until it cools typically stopping in an almost vertical broken wall 20 ft or so high.

There was another nice view from the top.

I visited the lava river cave. Hot lava flowed, cooled and solidified on the outside, continued flowing on the inside until the eruption stopped, then the tunnel emptied. This is the entrance of the cave. The tunnel, or more correctly the tube, is about a mile long.

It's a long while since I took a photo of a waterfall. This is near the Newberry Crater.

I was intrigued by the Big Obsidian Flow near the crater. Obsidian is a very hard glass like substance formed when a type of volcanic outflow cools in a specific way. It can be "flaked" to give a very sharp edge. The Indians valued it highly, it was a valuable trade item, they used it to make arrowheads for example. In my visits to museums I have seen thousands upon thousands of obsidian arrowheads.

To say a very sharp edge is in fact an understatement. The edge can be several hundred times sharper than modern steels and with skilled "flaking" the cutting edge can be reduced to one molecule in width........I had thought the stuff was hard to find, but here was a small mountain of it, pick up a piece and there was more below. Some of it was in rocks, way too large and heavy to pick up in it's original state.

I paused by a river next to the Cascades Lakes Highway.

And a lake. Yep, there were lots of people swimming. Me, I didn't even have the courage to dip a finger.

I stopped for the night in the parking for a trailhead. It was Saturday night so probably busier than usual, there were about a dozen cars left overnight in the parking, I guess the owners were out tent camping on the trail.

I remember some years ago someone remarking, why should anyone want to live in Bend? There's nothing there they said. Well I now disagree with that remark. There's lots here, views, trails, bicycle tracks, lakes, all sorts of stuff. It would be too cold for me in the winter though.

I had a visitor when I was parked. The wavy blue line is the crack in my windscreen.

Best regards

David Barker
On the road in the USA

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