Great Oregon Road Trip: Newberry National Volcanic Monument

To see a map of our entire journey and photos from our first day of travel, click here.

More Great Oregon Road trip posts.

Day one of our Oregon adventure found us in Sunriver, Oregon. Sunriver is a small resort town just south of Bend and is made up of thousands of vacation condos neatly nestled amongst the pine trees. While Sunriver is a popular vacation destination for many Portland families, this was our first visit and it was a good first stop on our journey.

For the kids, the highlight of day 1 was a visit to SHARC, the new Sunriver water park. We got there at 4:30 on a Sunday so we were spared the crazy crowds but also missed some of the sunshine. We decided it was time to leave when the boys’ lips started turning blue. Of course I didn’t capture any photographs because I was too busy ensuring my kidWe had a good (although salty) pizza delivered for dinner from one of the few takeout places in town. It was all we could manage after a full day of packing, driving and swimming.

Our condo backed onto a lake so, at dusk, I braved the mosquitos to take some photos of the sunset and an adventurous five-year-old. Probably not the best idea but I managed a couple of shots before the critters forced us back inside.

Day two marked the beginning of what I like to call our National Park tour of Oregon with a visit to the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. This was Kei and my second visit to the monument – the last time we hiked the trails I was 6 months pregnant with Thomas.

It’s pretty incredible to see a landscape that is thousands of years old but still clearly identifiable as a lava flow. And it’s a lot of fun to introduce two curious boys to the wonders of nature. You want rocks? We’ve got rocks!

Before exploring the lava flow, we took a quick drive up to the top of the cinder cone which gave us some amazing views and a an appreciation for the size of the lava flow.

The air was a little hazy from all the forest fires burning in the Western part of the state.

After walking around the rim of the cinder cone, we drove back down the (VERY narrow) road to listen to a Ranger talk…

and take a walk through the lava field.

And then my boys decided to hold hands on the walk back to the car and cemented their reputation as THE CUTEST THINGS EVER!

We made a couple of stops to take a closer look at some crickets before heading to the gift shop – the first of many, many gift shops we stopped at during our vacation. I think we may have closed some of the National Park’s budget gap with our rock and crystal purchases alone.

Finally, we headed off for lunch at the Deschutes Brewery in Downtown Bend – although I don’t have any photos of that because we got lost and Kei and I had an argument and I didn’t fully let go of my grudge until we found some frozen yogurt. Frozen Yogurt is the best solution for most arguments.

I’ll be back tomorrow to share part 2 of our Volcano day which comprised of a walk through the lava tube – and I’ll end this post with another picture of my adorable boys. They were back to bickering a few minutes later so I’ll take these moments when I can get them.

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Great Oregon Road Trip: Lava River Cave « Nicole Ishida Photography


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