Pacific Northwest Road trip — Part 3

OK, so, it’s not quite a year ago (yet) that we did this, but, you know, the pictures keep the memories fresh. Here’s part 1 and part 2 for those that aren’t so fresh.

After the dismal night’s sleep in Chemult, OR, we headed for the Lava Cast Forest to start day 3′s adventures.  Takes 9 miles of dirt roads covered in a powdery dust to get to — ohh well, after 4 drops of rain per square inch the night before, this dirt was just the icing on the cake for the new car:

The lava casts were fascinating. Quick blurb about it here:

Which, to be perfectly honest, a nice paved trail was ideal for the pregnant mama and todler. This is a fairly shallow cast — only a couple feet deep. Some of them were 7-8 feet deep.

You can really get a good idea of how the trees stopped the lava flow before they burned out. Valerie is standing tall on her feet here.

At the end of the trail, this tree stump was too perfect of a todler photo op. If only she’d look at the camera.

This is my favorite of the bunch.

Many more photos of the lava casts in the second and third pages of the gallery.

The drive back down the dirt road was done largely with the engine off, you know, because I could.  Alas, I lost the bet and had to fire it up before we got to the end of the dirt.

Heading north on HWY 97, figuring we really hadn’t had enough lava for one day, I really wanted to do some spelunking. Lava tube spelunking in the Lava River Cave. I seam to have forgotton to take the camera on this adventure.  The sheer size (height/width) of the lava tube was impressive considering it used to be full of swiftly moving magma. We didn’t make it all the way to the end (1.0 miles) because Maia was D.O.N.E being in the backpack carrier. We bundled her up for the cold temps, but, just riding along probably left her a bit on the chilly side. No worries. It wet our apetite to see more lava tubes and convinced us that the Ape Cave in St. Helens would be well worth a vist later in the tip.

With all of the stops and side trips, we only did a bit over 200 miles of purposeful travel on Day 3 of the trip.


We did stop and gander at the shoe tree at mile post 53 on Route 97, just out of Shaniko. Good shot of it here. When littering turns to art.

Once we got on the freeway, Valerie was busy on the iPhone checking out possible places to stop. The “Rufus Rocks” motel called to us to check out simply for the name alone. Turns out, it was under new management for the last few months as the “Hillview Motel”. All the better, since the friendly family that took over was renovating it room-by-room on their own. Wasn’t anything fancy, but, they were happy to have us as guests, even if we didn’t didn’t spring for one of the newly renovated rooms.

And it turns out, that was probably for the better.  After having a shower, Maia was running around nakey while I zoned out in front of the TV and Valerie had her turn in the shower.  Next thing I know, Maia starts hysterically yelling, “clean it up, clean it up” and she was jumping up and down while pointing at the floor.  I look over the edge of the bed and realize she’s pointing at a perfectly formed log of poo that was about the dimensions of her forearm. And, if you haven’t already glanced at your forearm and pondered that for a moment, needless to say, it was huge! Poor kid; no wonder she was hysterical. At least she had the good graces to drop it on the tile entry way instead of the carpet.

Don’t worry, I’m sure that room has been renovated by now…

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