Sunday, October 21, 2007


Magical Mystery Tour, Part Five

After leaving Susanville and Mount Shasta behind, we found ourselves tempted (well, I found myself tempted, and Miss Tori was kind enough to indulge me) by the Lava Beds National Monument:

Lava Beds = Caves! Remember to cave softly and safely:

We hadn't even made it to the ranger station. We weren't sure what was even around here, so when we saw this cave, I wanted to do a little exploring. What if it was the only cave around? Here is the entrance to Valentine's Cave:

Inside the cave, looking to the right:

. . . and to the left:

The two tubes, right and left, join up again. You can imagine them as forming a ring around that central pillar you see there. Here's a look at the roof:

On the back side of the pillar, it's pretty dark, and creepy. The cave just goes deeper:

When we first got there, people with actual equipment came out. I wonder how far back that cave went. I'd like to go back sometime to find out. Fortunately J.D. Howard got this nice monument put together:

Here's a mushpot, whatever that is:

And here's a pretty flower:

And down among this jumble of rocks is another cave:

The best part of Lava Beds is that it has a campground, and the ranger station has a large supply of flashlights and hard hats available to check out. We didn't have time on this trip, but someday we will. It's out in the middle of nowhere, so it might not get many visitors, but Lava Beds is definitely worth a visit if you're an amateur with an interest in caves.
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