Sunday, August 7, 2016

Lava Beds National Park, 8/5/16-8/7/16

Left for Lava Beds early afternoon.  Stopped in Weed for dinner at the Pizza Factory.  We had originally planned on cooking dinner at the campsite, but it would have been dark by the time we got there.  There were several flashes of lighting as we were driving to the Stateline, but luckily it looked like they were in Oregon, and not the park.  So we continued to Lava Beds, set up the tent, and went to bed.

Cooked the food intended for last nights dinner, so we enjoyed a hot meal for breakfast.  We took our time because the Visitor Center didn't open until 9:00, and we couldn't go into the caves until we got screened for White Nose Syndrome and got our permit.
Sunrise at the campsite
Golden Dome Entrance

Inside Golden Dome
Sentinel Upper Entrance

Skylight in Hercules' Leg
Cow Killer Velvet Ant, Dasymutilla occidentalis
Skylight in Hercules' Leg
Inside Hercules' Leg
Inside Sentinel

The main reason for our trip was to visit Fern Cave.  They only have tours during the summer, and only one tour per Saturday, with a maximum of 6 people.  No photos are allowed inside the cave, as this is a sacred Modoc place.  We burnt sage as a cleansing ritual before entering.  There was quite a bit of wildlife in the cave; two types of tree frogs (maybe three; a brown frog), a kangaroo rat, a lizard, and a skink.  There was also skeletal remains of some small animal, and a decomposing kangaroo rat.  It was a very beautiful and amazing sight to see such lush ferns in the cave.  We struggled with our desire to take photos!

After the Fern Cave tour we headed back down to spend the night in Anderson.

Did not do any hiking or exploring today.  Just headed home.