Today I’m thinking, “Oh this is ridiculous, Nelson. You’re going to be blogging while on vacation? It’s like showing home movies of your vacation; nobody is going to want to see that. But then I got three comments on yesterday’s post (okay, so one was from my son), and I’ve suddenly got a new vocation: Travel writer! Read on, my armchair travel companions…
Yesterday’s lowlight: We went hiking at Benham Falls on the Deschutes River (shown above), and the mosquitoes attacked Jennifer. Jennifer is a wonderful person to go hiking with because the mosquitoes always attack her. I’m not sure why this is, but if I were a mosquito I’d dig into her soft succulent skin rather than mine any day. Anyhow, yesterday’s episode brought back memories of other mosquito misadventures in Jennifer’s past: staying at a house on the coast of Maine and being swarmed by bugs every time she stepped outside, and that lovely warm night on the Gulf Coast of Texas when she went out in shorty shorts and a tank top and got eaten alive.
Yesterday’s highlight: Lava Butte, a volcanic cinder that was formed seven thousand years ago and today is part of Newberry National Volcanic Monument. Apparently back in the days when woolly mammoths roamed the earth, this part of Oregon was the home of the Newberry Volcano, which when it erupted spit out cinders and ash that formed into this 500-foot high cinder cone. It’s a pretty cool formerly hot spot. You can drive to the top of the Lava Butte, walk a few steps up to a lookout station, and see the peaks of the Cascade Range: Mt. Batchelor, Broken Top, the Sisters group, and in the far distance, the intensely beautiful conical shape of Mt. Hood. From the station, you can walk around the rim of the 150-feet deep cinder cone, peering down into it as shown above. Then, after driving back down to the visitors center, we took another short walk through a desolate section of black molten lava.
More highlights: Goody’s Ice Cream Shop in downtown Bend. Goody’s make its own ice cream, chocolate and many of its candies. After being chewed up by mosquitoes on our nature walk to Benham Falls, Jennifer and the boys (they also got bit) were looking for more civilized pleasures. So we stumbled onto this wonderful old-fashioned soda fountain on the trendy main shopping street of Bend. Gabe had a blue raspberry icie, Jennifer a cool “green river” drink (club soda, lime syrup, squeeze of lemon, phosphate), Hank an orange float (orange juice with vanilla ice cream, seen to the left), and I had a chocolate-dipped vanilla bar. More tomorrow, like it or not!