Ever since Kiddo was a wee little Kiddo, he has always been fascinated with Earth Sciences, especially weather and volcanoes. When he was four, we spend time exploring the volcanoes of Hawaii. Every couple of years, we head to Yellowstone for the every changing thermal features of the park. While some people like to sit on a beach and sip Tropical Cocktails by the pitcher their entire vacation, we like to explore, to learn, to stimulate our minds. Don’t misunderstand me, we like to relax with a tall cocktail while on holiday. Learn a little, drink a little, talk a little. It’s all part of the vacation process for us. Every day should be a learning experience. Care to come along?
This year we headed back up to the Pacific Northwest. There were the National Lava Beds, and Mount Saint Helen’s to explore. There were wet lands and coastal towns and following Lewis and Clark. There were whales to see and ship wrecks to explore.
A little learning, a little exploring, a lot of family bonding time. Vacations and Holidays are what we make them. Lord knows, we sure managed to pack a lot into our first day on the road. Half the excitement of going somewhere new is getting there, don’t you think?
Mount Shasta at the northern edge of California is amazing. When the mountain first comes into view, it steals your breath away. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s the first time or the one-hundredth time, the sight is thrilling. The mountain is covered in snow even in July. It’s not hard to recognize the sleeping giant.
Our first stop in Oregon was the tiny town of Malin, just across the state line from California. There isn’t much to see or do in Malin. Main Street is maybe two blocks long. For us, visiting Malin is like the Smiths going to Smithville. It’s the novelty of the town’s name.
Just south of Malin, back on the California side, is the Lava Beds National Monument. This is were our true adventure begins.
Near the Visitors Center is the first Lava Tube to explore. This tube is the Ambassador to the park, as it is easily accessible. It is paved, and lite enough to find your way around.
Outside the tubes, wild flowers grow everywhere. It amazes me how the beauty of nature somehow roots in the most hostile of places.
Our second tube descent was far more difficult. Only my guys dared to make the journey down the ladder into total darkness. Here and there, skylights opened up. The pathway was rocky. Yet Kiddo and Hubby said it was a tube worth exploring.
Above ground, seeing the lava flow is amazing. It is almost like visiting another planet, stretching out forever.
Not far from the Lava Beds are wetlands. This entire area was once a marshy lake. Most of it was drained to open up the area for farming. Some of the marsh remains in the shadow of a distant Mount Shasta.
Just beyond the wetlands our next adventure awaits – the Petroglyphs. Petroglyph Point was once an ancient island on Tule Lake, home to the Modoc Tribe. The Petroglyphs date back more than 6,000 years and have yet to be fully deciphered. They are amazing to see.
From here, our first day’s adventure comes to an end. Klamath Falls was our stopping point. There, we would need a good night’s rest for the next day’s adventure.