Lava River Cave

I’ve been on sort of a cave kick lately, I blame smokey 90 degree days. Two thirds of Oregon seems to be a blaze, as it usually is in late August. The newspaper has declared ‘Fire’ a season. I’ve found that smoke really messes up majestic vistas (and lung proficiency, go figure). I’ve taken to…

Bates Butte

I really like Bend but I love Sunriver even more! It’s my happy place and for 9 months out of the year I pretty much have it to myself. I can zip around the trails undisturbed, get into the brewhouse without waiting, and buy milk in under 90 seconds. Then there are the months of June, July, and August….

Camp Abbot Cinder Pit

I grew up on a cinder road, south of Sunriver. I remember the neighbor kid’s collecting very shiny, iridescent type lava rocks from the ditches that lined our street. They swore that boiling the rocks made the rainbow effect even stronger. The rocks were porous and lighter than other rocks their size, some could even…

Hoffman Island Trail

After coffee one morning I told my family I was interested in going to explore a Kipuka down Hoffman Island Trail. My 6 year daughter set her iPad down. “Are we going to Hawaii?” She was obviously intrigued. “No, it’s only 10 miles away!” A half hour later we arrived at the trail head and…

Benham Falls

6,600 years ago hot molten lava spewed from the side of Lava Butte, damming the Deschutes River and creating Benham Lake. The lake would overflow at a low point on a saddle, this channel eventually formed Benham Falls. The Deschutes travels on North towards Bend down two more clusters of rapids (Dillon and Lava Island Falls)….

Fall River Trail

Crystal clear and cold as Hell, that’s Fall River! One time I thought I would be quite clever and come here to anchor my float tube. I found out really quickly why no one floats here, the water is painfully cold. My feet and ankles turned purple and then numb, I didn’t dare try sitting. Good…

Brown’s Crossing

Brown’s Crossing, 24 miles south of Sunriver,  is one of my favorite spots to observe a plethora of local wildlife. This 2- square mile habitat is a lush home to a variety of waterfowl and birds of prey, hummingbirds, beavers, deer, and bats. In early Spring I visited and found several deer carcasses from the…

Pistol Butte

There is something about a Butte, once you climb it, you never forget it. The more little bumps you recognize on the horizon, the better you know the land as a whole. 7 miles from my house is 5,154 foot tall Pistol Butte. Locals say the butte was named after Pistol Pete, a notorious mountain man who…

Glass Buttes: Obsidian Collection

77 miles East of Bend, on Highway 20 lies Glass Buttes, a geological wonderland literally speckled with ancient volcanic glass. The area is one of the largest Obsidian collection sites in the North West. Native American’s have been accessing The Buttes for centuries.  Artifacts from this area have been identified as far north as British Columbia and…

Lava Butte

Halfway between Bend and Sunriver is Lava Butte, a 5,020 foot cinder cone. The Lava Lands Visitor Center sits at the base of the butte and is the hub of the Newberry Caldera National Monument. The center hosts a delightful northwest bookstore and informative interpretive site (complete with topographic map and helpful rangers). There is an easy…