Northwest Journey

08.28.15 Lava River Cave in Bend, Oregon – oh what a day!

lc 1 (Medium)On Wednesday we made it to Lava River Cave, which is a mile-long lava tube. It takes approximately 1.5 hours to tour the entire cave. Initial access descends 55 stairs to a combination of flat boardwalk, uneven surfaces and stairways.  Average temperature in the Cave is 42 degrees.

lc 2 (Medium)The sign above probably should have stopped me from going in but I figured I’m not a child, I’ve done caves before and this is only a mile long.

This was probably the worst thing we could have attempted and we paid for it.  I was only able to make it about 1/4 of the mile into the tube.  I waited there for Roy to complete the mile and come back to where I stopped.  He made it back fine so we then headed back to the cave’s opening.

I’m not totally sure why the exit was so difficult for me.  The air quality has been dangerous recently here in Oregon because of smoke from local forest fires.  I have asthma but haven’t really felt different because of the smoke, so going into the cave didn’t seem to be a problem.  It was very damp and very cold (and I was in there over an hour) and all the fungus or mold (which I’m highly allergic to) that must be in a damp dark place like that, and I guess coupled with me having breathed the smoke for a while caused me to have extreme difficulties breathing while getting out of the cave.   A very nice young lady tourist who happens to be a Cardiac nurse stayed with us until we got out.  Also, a forest ranger brought me some water when we were near the finish line.  There were many steps to climb to get out and I could make it a few steps before having to pause for several minutes.  I was dizzy and had extreme difficulty breathing and standing up.

The last time we toured a cave I had a little difficulty near the end, but nothing like today.  We will not be planning anymore underground cave tours in the future.  We’ve toured several over the years and need to be happy with those experiences!

There aren’t many pictures to share since it is pitch black in there and the tourists have to bring their own to see a little bit in front of them.  Roy set us up with head lights and a strong hand held flashlight and we both had our Southeastern jackets on to HELP keep us warm. I forgot my gloves so they were near frozen even while keeping them tucked into my jacket!

The first picture shows the pathway through the cave.  Then you’ll see us with our very fashionable head lights on before going into the cave.  the other pictures are from the hundred feet or so into the cave where there is still some sunlight shining in.  After that it was all blackness!lava river cave pathlc 4 (Medium)lc 5 (Medium)lc6 (Medium)lava-river3lc7 (Medium)lc 10 (Medium)This is the view I had while waiting for Roy to return of the people entering that part of the cave.   They are coming down the steep steps which we had to go up to get out.  When there was no one coming from either direction it was pitch black and extremely cold.   This was absolutely one of those times I wanted to trip the young adults just be-bopping their way up and down the stairs!!!  When our mind thinks it’s still that  young and our body knows different, we get ourselves in these pickles! lc 13 (Medium)

Roy saw these two signs with good information further down the passage way so I’m sharing!lc highway crossing (Medium)lc tube in tube (Medium)I’m use to writing about the things we see and do because I’m excited to share it with ya’ll.  This was a different story and actually quite humbling.  I am staying in the RV today to let my lungs and body recover from whatever they went through yesterday.

We want to go to La Pine State Park tomorrow which will be non strenuous and hopefully will give me an outing without doing further damage.  We have a campground BBQ Saturday, work Saturday and Sunday for me with RVillage and then we’ll see what Sunday brings.

As I shared with ya’ll, our plans have changed as Russ and Annie’s plans changed.   We still hope to meet up with them along the way!  The overall plan for the rest of our trip includes:

Redwood Forest for a week

San Francisco/Napa Valley for two weeks – this is where my boss Hillary lives and I’ll finally get to meet her and Cam in person after working for them for over a year and a half!!

Los Angeles to hopefully see some TV shows taped

Las Vegas to see all that’s there

Grand Canyon – hopefully north and south rims

Sedona Arizona

Southern Arizona – where our real big boss, Curtis lives to finally meet him in person!

El Paso Texas to see the White Sands Monument.

Roswell New Mexico to see the alien places

See whatever we want as we go across Texas and then land in Louisiana for Christmas!

There will be lots of small stops along the way but these are our must see stops.  Any suggestions around those areas are greatly appreciated!

From where we are now in Oregon to Roswell, NM will take us 2500 more miles.  Roy hasn’t given his final blessing to this plan so it may change!  From Roswell NM to Amite, LA is another 1000 miles.

Next year’s plan is to explore the east coast and all that has to offer!

Here’s our most updated map of all the states we’ve visited!

visited states map august 18 2015

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

11902586_926542507461342_3945742529871268250_ncooltext1838781539Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published on Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia published randomly


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