Day 47 – 10/16 Bend, Oregon: Lava Cave Tour

Today was a nice day here.  Weather was good, girls got their school work done easily and early, and we went on a Lava Cave Tour, which was pretty awesome.

When the girls get up and get going with their school work, it’s usually a sign it will be a good day, and today was one of those.  They woke up and got going.  Bella got ahead on her work, then logged in for her ELA, and continued getting work done.  Bia was able to wake up a tad later than usual since she was going to have some tests, and the class was prepping.  I got her up 30 minutes before her test, she had some breakfast and was ready to go at 9amCT (which was 7am here).  She worked on her test with no stress, and finished with about 15 minutes to spare.  She was very happy about how she felt.  Bella got all of her work done before noon, so we had lunch and just relaxed a bit before leaving for our Lava Cave Tour.  I tried to get caught up on work, and was able to put in about 2 hours while helping the girls. 

Carol was working on videos.  I also got to go for a run through the neighborhood.  Bend is a really nice city. 

Clean, very green, people are polite and care about others, the downtown is pretty, the whole area is very pretty with mountains and forests. 

Not to mention the good food and beer.  There’s a lot to do around here.

We then went to the Lava Cave Tour, with Wanderlust Tours.  We met at their office nearby, and from there they drive to the cave.  Not that I need to say this, but obviously it was a requirement to wear masks in the van, and in the cave.  The company also asked a few questions and took everyone’s temp before allowing people in the van.  Besides us, there were 3 other ladies that went with.  It was a quick 15 minute drive, through some middle of nowhere place where there’s some low vegetation, some trees, kind of in a forest protected area. 

When we got there, all you see is a sign, and the hand rails to go down to the cave. 

The cave opening is not huge, but big enough to have the steps built in there.  Our guide Katie gave us our helmets with lights, and our instructions, and we followed her down into the cave.  It is pretty cool to be in there. 

Those caves were formed as lava rolled on top of lava, and that motion created cones, which became caves as the lava hardened.  I think within 10 minutes of walking in the cave we hit a spot where there was total darkness, so no light from outside was getting there. 

The walking was easy, but you definitely had to watch where you were stepping as some areas were sand, but most had rocks on the ground, so extra caution was needed the entire time. 

The girls loved it all, being underground in a cave, having to climb rocks, sometimes having to crawl under rocks to get through, it was very cool, and a very cool experience. 

About 40 minutes in, our guide had us all stop and sit down, she told us about the cave, the area, etc.  She also wanted everyone to experience total darkness, and then silence.  We were all sitting down, and she had us turn off the lights, and wow… total darkness, not even a smidge of light was in there (everyone got their phones and watches or what not put away as well). 

It was very interesting, and it looks like the brain makes shit up in total darkness, so some people were claiming to see stuff hahahahah… Then we had a 30 seconds of total silence as well.  That was really cool.  I could hear and feel the airflow through the spot we were in.  The girls said they could see and hear a bunch of stuff hahahah… active brains I guess.  We continued on, went through a spot you have to crawl to get through, no way to just go on your hands an knees, the clearance was too low, so crawling it was… and with all the sand, and fine dust… we were all covered in dust.  We were told not to wipe our hands while going through the hole, as if we did, the airflow would raise the dust and cover the person behind making it hard to see and breath.  Fortunately, no incidents there, actually none at all inside the cave. 

We were underground for just about 2 hours and it was really fun.  I wish we could have gone all the way to the end of the cave, but the ladies that were with us were slow and we didn’t move too fast.  Our girls were fast, on the way back Bella lead the pack and was going super fast up, under and through the rocks.  Now, remember, this was inside a cave with no light from the outside, and the only light was the little light from our helmets.  Well, those little lights are actually pretty good and have like 3 settings and they also swivel up and down, so you can shine at the ceiling or right in front of your feet. 

Everyone loved the tour and we’d do it again, but it was quite expensive.  This was easily the most expensive thing we did in our trip so far, with tip and all it cost us about $400, yikes!  But, we might as well experience it, no regrets now, we can make the money back later 🙂

Everyone loved the tour and we’d do it again, but it was quite expensive.  This was easily the most expensive thing we did in our trip so far, with tip and all it cost us about $400, yikes!  But, we might as well experience it, no regrets now, we can make the money back later 🙂

From there, we went back, the drive back was less fun, we were hot, wet, full of dust, but it was just 15 minutes and we were back in our truck.  The girls wanted to go to Walmart to get the remainder of their costumes and some decoration, so we went and I waited in the car.  This dude kept staring at me in the parking lot, not sure what was up with that. Hahahaha.

From there we went back, while I got the grill going as we were going to make burgers, Carol and the girls decorated the trailer and the girls tried on their full costumes. 

We had our burgers outside, then went in to watch some TV.  I wanted to make sure they didn’t go to bed too late as we are going to Crater Lake tomorrow, so I want to leave around 9.  And that was our day, good school day, super cool experience in the Lava Caves, and chill end of day.

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