Even though I spent months pouring over travel guides from various states, researching on the Internet and reading, planning, etc. for this trip, I completely missed something.....and I'm so glad I did.
One of the scenic routes I had for us was the McKenzie-Santiam route on our way to Crater Lake. Because of the lateness of the day we were only able to one one leg of the route (hwy 242). It was one of those very winding routes, very beautiful, very forested. UNTIL we reached the top.
I do remember reading about the Dee Wright Observatory and I remember seeing the word "lava" but I certainly did NOT expect this!!
I was totally surprised, shocked, and stunned at this site. I was thinking "What the heck!" The little tower thing you see in the picture was the "observatory" to view the scene. Even though it was VERY cold, we walked (quickly) to the observatory to record what we were seeing.
Now, when we got back to the car, I was thinking, "How did I miss this???" I got the literature about the scenic route out and there it was in black and white: All about the lava, observatory and very clearly states that at the McKenzie pass is a 65 square mile lava flow. 65 square miles!!!
Now, had I been paying attention and had known this was coming, it would not have made such an impression on me. I am glad I was not expecting this site. It made such an impact!