Bend ~ Day 2
After our bike ride yesterday, we went for a walk around the campground and chatted with a couple we met who told that Paulina Peak is a must-do in the area.
Reading all the reviews about the drive up there, we read a lot of reports discussing how narrow and windy the road is with no guard rails and steep drops. This gave half of the Robb and Liz team a bit of anxiety. We drove from our campground to Paulina Lake Visitor Center where we got more information and learned that there was a parking area about a mile up the road where you could stop and hike the climb to the peak. As we hiked, I was really glad that half our team preferred not to drive to the top. The views along this hike were fantastic and we would not have enjoyed this area nearly as much driving to the top. THe trail is very well maintained and it was interesting that what rock there was on the trail was mostly obsidian.
After the hike we drove to the Big Obsidian Flow that we had seen from the top of Paulina Peak. We got out of the car, thinking we would just walk to the edge and take a look. Well then, let’s just go to the top of the stairs. Well maybe just around that corner, and so on and so on. We ended up walking the loop, which is only .6 mile and were completely in awe of this huge field of obsidian, also know as A Glass Menagerie. Growing up I had learned from my Dad what obsidian is and we had what I thought were sizable pieces of it around the house. What we saw here were huge pockets and pieces the size of Volkswagens. It was truly mesmerizing and just so amazing to think that this was all created by volcanic activity 1300 years ago. The history with the native americans utilizing this material for spears and arrowheads is fascinating.
The entire Paulina Lake recreation area is within the Newberry Caldera, which has an amazing geological history, and is part of The Newberry Volcanic National Monument.