Thursday – July 7, 2016
Lava Beds National Monument
PICTURES AND VIDEO TO BE ADDED SOON
Eruptions occurring 30,000-40,000 years ago formed over 700 tube caves found in the park. Lava tubes form when streams of hot, flowing lava start to cool. The center of the stream stays hot and continues to flow as the outside begins to cool and harden. The hot lava drains out, leaving a pipe-like cave. Multiple eruptions can stack caves on top of one another, creating multilevel caves. When a lava tube ceiling collapses, it opens access to the cave.
Lava Beds National Monument does not attract a large number of visitors each year, which translates into very little congestion while exploring the caves and lava rock formations throughout the monument.
We spent today exploring some of the caves on Cave Loop Road. Well… actually I explored some caves, Sharon had no desire to go into a cave. I must admit it was a bit unnerving to be all alone in totally black darkness as I walked further into the caves. I did have a small flashlight that I used to see where I could walk on the uneven, rock-strewn, floor of the caves. Quite often I would turn the flashlight off for a while, to experience the complete darkness and total silence. I took pictures with the flash on my Nikon 510 camera. The pictures clearly show the pipe-like features of these caves. Just imagine being in these areas in total darkness!
Tomorrow another adventure begins.
The Caves of Cave Loop Road