Monday, February 21, 2011

Lava Beds National Monument

Crystal Ice Cave
Originally uploaded by Wayne-K
I had the pleasure of visiting the Lava Beds National Monument near the California-Oregon border and touring the Crystal Ice Cave. The National Park Service rangers lead tours of the cave on Saturdays during the months of December though March. Because of the sensitive nature of the ice cave, the tour group is limited to six people. In other words, I was one of about one hundred people lucky enough to see the cave this year. So, thanks Faye for dragging my butt up to the Oregon border for a once in a lifetime opportunity!

We drove up from the Bay Area at o'dark thirty on Saturday morning, joined the tour at 1 PM, and then camped overnight on the park grounds. On Sunday, we did a self-lead tour of Merrill Cave, and then headed home.

Photography inside the Crystal Ice Cave was challenging because it's dark and being a ranger guided tour, I didn't want to hold up the entire group while I was positioning my off-camera flash unit. I did, however, have a chance to play with my flash at the Merrill Cave. Outside the cave, the lighting was obviously better, but it was snowing and overcast...not ideal light for landscape photography.

Here are a few photos at the Lava Beds National Monument and along the drive home. Much thanks to Faye for supporting my requests to "pull over, right here," so I could photograph the pretty landscape....making the long drive home a bit longer...

Exploring the Crystal Ice Cave

330/365 - Crystal Ice Cave

Traversing the Ice

Last Bus South

331/365 - Water Tower in Dorris, California

Unidentified Bump in the Landscape

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