Volcanos – Bend, Oregon

posted in: Family and Friends | 1

We switched things up for our Friday evening dinner. Instead of beer and pub fare, Tim and Amanda took us to one of their favorite restaurants, Sen. Sen translates to noodle, or thread, in Thai. The owners of Sen have translated their family’s favorite Thai street carts into an upscale restaurant in downtown Bend, Oregon.

After an appetizer of Tuah Gratiem (wok fried green beans with fresh garlic) we shared three dishes. We don’t often eat Thai food so this was a really special treat. It’s nice to try some different things, but I can’t remember or recognize the name of any of these three dishes even though I looked at the online menu again. 🥴
Amanda and I each had this really interesting beverage – Anchan Limeade. Fresh limeade with butterfly pea flower syrup. You pour the syrup on the left into the glass of limeade.
Bonta was nearby, so we thought it best if we walked off our dinner by heading over there. 😉

Saturday was our last day in Bend with Tim and Amanda. Changing things up again, we left the beautiful greenery of the Deschutes National Forest to visit Newberry National Volcanic Monument which is also in the Deschutes National Forest. It is said that no trip to Bend, Oregon is complete without exploring the Newberry Crater. 

We began at Lava Lands Visitors Center to orient ourselves to the Newberry Crater through their educational displays and information. Created in 1990 the Newberry National Volcanic Monument covers 54,000+ acres of lakes, lava flows, and geologic features all in central Oregon.

Newberry Crater, a 1,200 square mile volcano (about the size of Rhode Island), is both seismically and geothermally active. This crater is actually a caldera, a large depression that is formed when the overlying rocks collapse as a magma chamber is emptied. The caldera stretches across 17 square miles in the heart of the volcano. Geologists believe the caldera sits over a shallow magma body only 2 to 5 kilometers deep.  Newberry’s last eruption was very recent (in geologic time) at only 1,300 years ago. “It’s not so much a question of if it will erupt again but when.”

After spending some time in the Visitors Center, we headed out to hike up the path called “The Trail of the Molten Land”. The day was slightly overcast which added to the desolate feeling of the surroundings. Such a contrast to the past two days of massive pine forests and waterfalls.

It is a paved path with a gentle grade so it was pretty easy on us older folks.
Lava Butte in the background.
It is hard to imagine anything growing here in this terrain, even after 1300 years. It is just so desolate.
But somehow, life begins again even in the most adverse conditions.
That funny looking twisted tree stump is known as a “Lava Ness Monster.”
Lava Ness Monsters began as a pine seed that landed on the barren lava land where there was little soil. The dry climate does not weather the rocks quickly enough. The seed survived by sending out a single moisture seeking taproot. Fluids and nutrients are distributed to all sides of the tree because it grows in a spiral. In more normal climates, trees grow straight with roots that feed the branches directly above them. By spiraling the single taproot can carry water and nutrients to all sides of the tree regardless of which side of the tree it is on.

Next, we hiked up to Lava Butte, a part of the system of small cinder cones on the northwest flank of NewBerry Volcano that erupted around 7,000 years ago and now sits surrounded by a 9 square-mile lava flow.

Lava Butte

The butte has been used as a fire lookout tower since 1913. This current station was built in 1998 and is one of the busiest in the northwest, averaging more than 125 first reports of fires.

“Cinder cones build up when lava blasts high in the air and falls as cinders in a pile. As the eruption continued magma with much less gas forced its way out of the side of the cinder cone. The resulting lava flow traveled six miles downhill.”

Tim and Amanda standing atop Lava Butte. What view from here.
The view down into the cinder cone. The cone is 500 feet high and the crater drops down 125 feet.
I found this aerial view of Lava Butte online. Quite a perspective. We were there.
For our last night together, we had homemade pizza in their Ooni oven. Wow, was it ever good!

We enjoyed our time with Tim and Amanda so much, not only the amazing places they showed us around Bend, but just spending time with them which is too rare. Tim works remotely as an IT guy for a company based in Portugal. We try to understand what it is he does, but frankly, we just can’t comprehend it. However, he has some very interesting hobbies.

This is the light in the guest bath that he created. It represents their travels around the U.S. in their Airstream.
Tim has made all sorts of things with his 3D printer. This is an attempt to make heddle pieces for my looms. A trial run because I need to take a closer look once I get home to see what might work.
Tim also has this CNC router (a computer controlled cutting machine) that his father was fascinated to see in action. This project is going to be a standing lamp for their bedroom.
Tim is not the only creative person in this household. Amanda Is a terrific cook and has her own embroidery pattern business Wandering Threads, “nature inspired embroidery patterns,” on ETSY. She designs kits for the National Parks, states, city skylines, Christmas ornaments and more.

This terrific week came to an end, leaving us with incredible memories of our time here.

On to Alaska!

  1. Mary-Jo Shultis

    Wow, remarkable. Great post. incredible scenery. Makes me want to travel out there again.

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