Friday, June 25, 2021

Pacific Northwest Vacation - Day 9: Newberry National Volcanic Monument, and on to Portland

We had stayed the night in Bend Oregon and there are many places to see in the area. As we were moving on and needed to be in Portland by the end of the day, we had to choose one place to visit in the area. We decided on Newberry National Volcanic Monument.

We learned that Newberry is the largest of several volcanos in Oregon. But it is not a cylindrical shape, instead it is spread over an area the size of Rhode Island.

The first thing we did at Newberry was to ride the shuttle to the top of Lava Butte, a cinder cone that rises 500 feet.
From the top are nice views of the surrounding lava flow and mountains.
There are several snowcapped mountains including the three 'Sisters'.
The nearest mountain to Bend is Mount Batchelor.
After that we we went to Lava River Cave, the largest uncollapsed lava tube in Oregon.

You walk in and descend down the stairs.
The cave is dark with no lighting whatsoever. So we rented lanterns which provided the only light.
The cave is cool... constantly 42 degrees, so we wore our sweatshirts and jackets.
As caves go, it doesn't compare to the magnificent Carlsbad Caverns. There are no stalagtites or stalagmites as there are at Carlsbad. But it was still cool to walk through a large lava tube. This might have been the most interesting part of the cave, a section called "Tube in tube" where there are vertically stacked passages.
Kai loves caves and said he really enjoyed coming here. I love caves as well.
We had a late lunch back in Bend. We found a Hawaiian/Japanese restaurant so Kai had beef teriyaki, my wife had loco moco, and I had the two-item combo with chicken katsu and chicken teriyaki. I had a taste of my wife's loco moco and wished I had ordered that as well.
From Bend, it would be a three and a half hour drive to Portland. Bad traffic actually extended that by another half hour or so.

But we broke up the drive with a stop at Trillian Lake near Mount Hood.

Wow, what a nice view!
We got to our hotel in Portland to find out that the air conditioning in the entire hotel was not working and would not be fixed for another week. With 100 degree weather coming, the hotel was shutting down after this one night. They offered to refund our money but as it was getting late, I thought it best to stay the one night before moving on to a different hotel tomorrow. But sitting in our really hot room right now, I wish we had taken time to find another accomodation.

We went to dinner before all the restaurants closed for the night. We were lucky to find a table at Murata, a Japanese restaurant.

We were very happy to find out that the sushi was outstanding, among the best we've had and certainly better than the sushi we had in Seattle.
Even the ice cream was especially tasty.
It will be a challenging couple last days of the vacation with the extreme heat on the way. Wish us luck!


  1. Delicious Asian food abound, cool tunnel...and AC...I simply cannot sleep unless it is cool. very careful in Portland. The city is still under seige, lawlessness has been accepted by the "authorities", many of the police have been muzzled and manacled, the criminals are now emboldened. With it being in vogue to attack is simply not safe. Please reconsider Portland...especially Portland.

    1. I hear you on the government actions (or non actions) to what's happened in Portland in the past year. I did research before coming out including getting some local intel and it feels like things have settled down since last year.


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