Usually we travel down 97 to Interstate 5 and take it south, however because of forest fires as well as the closure of I-5 we decide to take a more easterly route to Alturas on US 395 to Interstate 80. We had not traveled with Lola along US 395 in Northeastern California, so it was a new area to see.
Likely Place Golf and RV Resort is a great place to stay. Besides being a half way point in our travels south, it has an 18 hole golf course. It is in a pretty remote area in Northeastern California yet close to US 395 to make it a convenient stop.
There are 5 or 6 cement pads and a few more grassy areas all with power for telescope setups. With the dark skies and high elevation Likely Place Golf and RV Resort is perfect to do some stargazing. Since we are only here for one night, Jeff set up the tripod and camera to get some practice getting some Milky Way pictures. He focuses on Cassiopeia and Andromeda Galaxy and uses Deep Sky Stacker (DSS) to process the images.
Besides stargazing, the resort offers a host of other activities such as fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking and nearby places to ATV. California’s Lava Beds National Monument is close by and many other attractions to explore. Several scenic drives are listed on the Lively Place Golf and RV resort sure to keep any family busy while staying here. See more here.
Likely Place Golf and RV Resort is on our list of places to come back to – as a matter of fact we plan to revisit the resort next spring on our way north to Alaska.
Part 2: Exploring from Thousand Trails Bend-Sunriver Base Camp
We are at Thousand Trails Bend-Sunriver just south of Bend Oregon to wrap up our visit to the Newberry National Volcanic Monument (Newberry NVM) in central Oregon. The campground is very large with 2 pools and the Little Deschutes river running alongside the property. It is a perfect place for a base camp to explore more of the Newberry Volcano after spending over a week at Lake Paulina in the volcano caldera.
See Part 1 when we camped at Lake Paulina inside the cauldera here.
The campsites are large and spaced apart at Bend-Sunriver. There is an unfenced leash-free area for dogs along the river. There are also trails and a fire road for some great walking. I also took the telescope out to the dog area because it is surrounded by high bushes for less light interference.
There are 3 observatories in the area. I visited the Oregon Observatory at Sunriver where there were more than a dozen telescopes set up looking at the stars and planets. The University of Oregon also has an observatory at Pine Mountain (Pine Mountain Observatory) that is open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays during the warm months. Also, the Worthy Brewery in Bend has a “hopservatory” up on their roof. Plus there are lots of places east of Bend in the desert where you can find a dark spot and set up your telescope or break out the binoculars.
Here’s a few pictures taken out by the dog field using the camera.
The Lava Cast Forest in the Newberry Volcano area was created 6,000 years ago. As the lava flow wrapped around trees, it cooled and hardened, leaving the imprint of the trees and the trees burned and rotted away. Many used to be 5 to 10 feet tall, but scavengers broke up most of the larger examples. Even so, it is a fascinating walk peering down the holes where trees once stood thousands of years ago. You can see the imprint from the bark that was on the trees! Easy walk and you can bring your dogs as well.
The Lava River Cave is another cool place to visit at the Newberry Volcano. This is the longest lava tube in Oregon and is 80,000 years old. Just to put it into perspective – the oldest lava flow on Newberry Volcano is 400,000 years old, and the most recent is 1,300 years old. Scientists believe Newberry first erupted about 600,000 years ago. It is still an active shield shaped stratovolcano, with over 400 vents (the most of any volcano in the lower 48 states).
And, it’s DARK! At nearly a mile long with no lights along the path, did I say it is DARK? Of course I brought a flashlight. But Christine wanted to make sure we had light, so she rented one at the ranger station. And, it is a good thing she did since the batteries in my torch went out after a few hundred steps. We held hands after that so I didn’t get lost in the dark. A couple of times Christine turned her flashlight off just to see what it is like to be in the dark. I could have told her, since I spend a lot of time in the dark… ok just kidding (a little bit). At the point where you can no longer go any further, she turned off the light again. You suddenly starts thinking of all of the scary movies you ever watched and quickly turn the light back on. Easy walk with a few places that have rocks you walk around or over and two sections that if you are tall, need to duck because of low ceilings.
Lava Butte is part of the Newberry Volcano, and is a large cinder cone. During the summer a bus is provided because of the small parking lot at the top of the cone. We visited after Labor Day so we just had to wait 45 minutes until the next set of 10 or so cars were allowed up to the top. We picked a magnificent day that had less smoke haze from the forest fires so we got better views of the Cascade mountains and the Newberry Volcano. We heard that on a very clear day you could see Mt. Shasta.
The Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway is a very pretty drive around Mount Bachelor just south of Bend and west of the Newberry Volcano. Poor Bachelor – always just a little ways away from the Three Sisters, 3 stratovolcanos just west of the Newberry Volcano. Lots of lakes and views of the mountains. It is an easy drive to make after a late breakfast since it is 66 miles long. We took the dogs and they swam at a couple of the lakes. Watch out though! Some of the lakes have toxic algae in them. We had to wipe the dogs down after they got near some of the algae.