Organ Pipe National Park

Organ Pipe National Park

About Me

I purchased "Sadie''s House On Wheels "in late 2007 and loved traveling in a motor home so much that I went on the road full time in late 2008. I started writing this blog to help me remember all the wonder places I have been and it allows me to share those places with my family and friends. Summer of 2013 I decided to hang up the keys for a while and moved back into my stick house. After nearly two years, I am on the road again.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Brew Trail and Lava Lands, September 19-23

We headed towards Bend, Oregon with the intention of staying at Tumalo State Park just outside of Bend for a few days.  We wanted to stay at the state park  because it was close to town and it would be a short commute into Bend  to finish the Ale Trail we had started in May.  Well,  it is a pretty busy park and unless you have reservations, their system is such that only two nights could be guaranteed.  You have to catch up with the ranger to find out if you site has been reserved  if you want to extend and who knows when the ranger comes around.  I talked with the campground host, and they were pretty nonchalant and could care less as far as helping us. In other words, unlike our national parks and BLM forest service parks,  they do not hold back a certain percent for walk-ins.  We should have learned from the last experience at an Oregon state park to make a reservation.  Well, after several drive throughs, and an attempt to park in one site, we decided to continue on to the Thousand Trails in Sun River were we stayed last May.  Although the Oregon State parks are nice, most are not set up for larger rigs or "drop ins".

The Thousand Trails in Sun River was "downsizing" for the season, but we had no trouble finding a spot without reservations.  We set up and settled in.  The next morning Joel headed back over the hill to the Reim complex to retrieve a few things he forgot and will need sometime during the next year. I stayed home and had a "me" day.  On Friday we headed over to the visitor center to find out if our Ale Trail  passes would still be good this late in the season and determined they were. But....we had to finish the tours  by Saturday in order to turn in our passes, as the visitor center was not open on Sunday and we wanted to leave by Monday.  Hmmm.  Five breweries in one day?  We managed by to visit all and still function  by only sampling by and sharing.  We returned on Saturday and claimed our prize of the sili cups, a cool silicone glass which is great for RVing because it is non breakable. What is our favorite brewery? Well, mine was the Three Creeks in Sisters.

After retrieving our prize we headed over to the Lava Lands Visitor Center.  I had wanted to visit it the last time we were here, but it was closed.  It's only open Thursday thru Monday.  There are some great exhibits of the lava fields and lava beds and a great little interpretive trail through the lava beds.

We headed out on the paved trail.  Amazing this tree can grow in all of the lava. Later we took the car and drove up to the cinder cone, the round mound on the upper right of the picture.

Mt. Bachalor in the distance
 Good example of all the lava along the trail.
 This is the lookout at the top of the cinder cone. The lookout was closed because it was in service; i.e. someone was up there looking for fires.
 There is a nice, short loop from the lookout and you can see the trails we walked on earlier
The lava beds span for several miles.
 We had a good view of the Sisters.  It was pretty smokey.
 Another view looking towards the west of the contrast between the lava beds and the forest.

The next day we walked the River Lava Cave  which is a huge lava tube.  Its about a mile walk in a huge lava tube (i.e. 2 mile round trip).  Be sure to bring your own lantern or be prepared to rent one, because for the most part, except for a few stairs,  the lava tube is in a primitive condition and it is pitch black inside, thus no pictures.  The best part is that it was cool inside and no smoke!

We had a great few days, and it is time to move on south.  Stay tuned as we continue to migrate.

No comments:

Post a Comment