Setting up a shot
Tucked in unobtrusively amidst the lava fields is an asphalt walkway with interpretive panels. We are stunned by how much work it must have been to create this, and how lucky we are to be able safely to walk through the river of lava. Here you see Sue setting up her camera for a delayed-release self-portrait of us. The lava is sharp-edged and irregular, harsh and unforgiving to the soft human body, and it was hard for her to see the back of her camera in the glare, so her shot was unfocused and we won't post it, but I enjoyed watching her set it up.
Imagine: a vast quiet punctuated by wind, amplified by pine needles from the few trees that have been able, over the past 1000 years, to root in that harshness. Imagine: fragrance of sage and juniper, wildflowers along the roadways, magenta, vivid orange, purple, white.
No mammals visible, though one interpretive panel says there are marmots and ground squirrels. Few people. Very few people. Surprisingly few people, given that this place is just a few hours from Portland. Empty roads, empty parking lots, paths with nobody on them but us.
An extra shows some of the lichen that grows on the great walls of lava. Tubes of lava. Gutters of lava. Endless black on black lava.