roadtrip rehash: day 6 (bend is the best, lava everywhere, chasing waterfalls, smith rock, and the long drive to yakima)

Wow, I'm really behind! We got back from this trip over a month ago, and I'm just now getting around to posting the last photos from it. 'Tis the season ;)

The sixth day of our trip was spent in areas largely affected or created by volcanic activity.

Our first stop was a national park fifteen minutes outside of Bend called Newberry National Volcanic Monument -- Lava Lands Visitor Center. The visitor center was actually closed already for the season (we knew this would be the case ahead of time), but the hikes behind it across a large lava field were open to visitors. Apparently the NPS didn't think to put up "closed due to government shutdown" signs since the center was already technically closed, because we didn't see any attempt at road blocks or orange cones.

After walking around the paved paths of the lava field at Lava Lands, we drove 45 minutes further down the road to our next stop, the Big Obsidian Flow.

At first, the Big Obsidian Flow just looked like a taller version of Lava Lands...

...but upon closer inspection, we realized the flow was actually made up of much different rocks than Lava Lands.

We spent a little over an hour wandering around what felt like a big portion of the flow. But when I was looking up info for this post, I came across this aerial view of the flow (cool huh?) and realized we really only saw a tiny portion of it. The photo two above (with our hands holding obsidian) shows the "end" of the flow and how it came to rest, and is circled in yellow below. The extreme end/left of the photo below is the origination end.

Less than five minutes' drive from the Big Obsidian Flow was our next stop, Paulina Falls.

From Paulina Falls, we headed north, back to Bend, for a quick lunch and souvenir shopping stop. Bend is an adorable town, and after our experience at Zydeco Kitchen and our lunch stop the next day at Plankers Sandwiches, safe to say also a town with amazing eating options.

It also had a great, easy-going feel, as evidenced by this store sign:

From Bend (round two), we continued our drive north to Smith Rock State Park in the High Desert Region of Oregon. Since I'm kind of behind on posting, I don't want to get too into the geology of the place, but essentially it was formed by a volcanic eruption and then some extreme weathering and erosion.

After Smith Rock, we drove north to Yakima, through eerily beautiful fields of windmills. They didn't really translate well to photos, but you can sort of make out the rows of red lights.

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