|Paulina Peak from the shore of Paulina Lake|
We had planned to go backpacking but the place I wanted to go was shut down due to a fire and apparently backpacking is not encouraged along that stretch of a river that we will not be talking about today. So, our plans changed at a moment's notice to see what we could make happen at the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.
Now, I normally think of spur of the moment and camping to be two perfectly compatible concepts, but Resident Spouse had recently regaled me with the story of a co-worker who decided to go camping on the spur of the moment and, after leaving Bend, ended up encountering full campgrounds at every place down the road until finally settling for a motel room at the coast. Needless to say, we kept this story in mind and planned on taking our chances at Newberry. At the very least, we could have a lovely day hiking. And what do you know? We turned into Little Crater Campground and found #3 wide open and just waiting for us.
|View from top of Little Crater trail|
Every time we've been to Newberry, we always try Little Crater campground first and, so far, it has always paid off. The campground has a lovely long sinuous layout that means you have very few neighbors and every campsite has a view of Paulina Lake. There is also a short, 1.8 mile trail up to the rim for splendiferous views of the lake and distant lands that you can reach from either end of the campground. The trail is pretty steep in spots and Mimsy dog kept cool by trotting from the shade of one tree to the next to keep her black coat out of the hot sun.
I also love the short hike through the Big Obsidian Flow but, it being a hot summer day, we waited until late afternoon to tackle the short mile-long trail because dogs should not go on the trail (lots of obsidian shards to cut their feet). We left our Mimsy dog in the car in a shaded and empty parking lot only to hear her start barking when we were a mere 15 minutes into the walk (she has quite the bark, that little one). Having already gained quite some elevation, we found a place where we could see down into the parking lot and, lo and behold, a big RV chose, from the entire empty lot, to park immediately next to our car. Rolling our eyes slightly, we went ahead with our walk, figuring that the occupants of that RV could have chosen someplace else to park and we wouldn't fuss ourselves too much about Mimsy's barking.
|The Big Obsidian Flow at sunset|
I think we were guilty of a little noise pollution that evening because we could hear her barking the entire time as we made our way up and down the trail. Sigh... the obsidian flow was amazing in the sunset...