Volcanic Oddysey: Fourth Stop Newberry

Calderas, lava rivers and obsidian: a volcanic legacy more than a million years in the making

Climb into calderas, navigate lava rivers and enter the Big Obsidian Flow at Newberry National Volcanic Monument, a fabulous place for adventuring in the cinder-cone dotted heart of central Oregon. Those who stop to talk with rangers will learn factoids not written on the kiosks, such as the unique relationship between Newberry and the Chain of Fire volcanoes in the Cascade Range.

Our most amazing Newberry moments were in the midst of sparkling blackness and jumbled shades of grey, the Big Obsidian Flow. Standing atop its jagged edges awes one both by its immensity, and by the particular circumstances required for its creation. Don’t walk dogs on this trail, it’s covered with broken-glass-like bits of obsidian. We did see one man with a pooch in arms on the trail.

The drive up to the Paulina Peak was also interesting, and so were the short hikes we took to see Paulina Falls, the Pinnacles and other sites we learned about at the Visitor Center. We recommend at least a two-day stay for those who don’t have time to linger.

Nearby in Sunriver, we enjoyed bicycling the trails of this unique planned community. The trails and fairways are woven into the community so carefully that no one needs to drive their car just to go swing a club, swim, have a cocktail or visit other recreational centers. And when it snows, folks just trade their skinny wheels for cross-country skis! We enjoyed the Sunriver Brewery enough to go back for seconds, but some of the shops in the village were quite expensive. At the bakery, for example, it was $8 for a funky loaf of honey wheat bread.

For those who enjoy sampling craft brews, adventures along the Bend Ale Trail will not disappoint, We earned the prized Silipints for our guzzling efforts, but afterward, according to our scale, we enjoyed their craft beers and pub fare a little too much, even with all the hiking and bicycling adventures! No matter, we’d gladly do it all over again! Read about our Ale Trail adventures here!

Lake Paulina

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Where we dropped our jacks

Between service appointments at Coach Masters of Bend, we stayed at the Bend/Sunriver Thousand Trails, twice, for two-week stints. If you’ve followed our adventures, you know how we just love being stuck in places while we wait for RV parts and service…

Anyway, the resort-like campground was decent, except for the many, many drivers who refused to go 5 mph on the dusty main road by the 50-Amp sites on the bottom of Row A.

For our second week, we found space A7, up near the yurts, was much more peaceful and less dusty. Antenna TV was good, with four PBS stations and a syndicated network or two. Bath houses were clean, the store well stocked, and there were friendly office attendants. Verizon was weak, but workable.

There are a few trees and obstacles to watch out for in big rigs, especially by the lower dump station, even though they swear to have done a lot of tree work. No full hook sites, so all must use the dump station. They also have a huge overflow, or dry-camping area if they are fully booked. We’d love to return for another stay, preferably without need for service appointments.


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