Sunday, August 13, 2017

Other things to see at Lava Beds

Aside from the lava tube caves, there were also a couple of points of historical interest at Lava Beds.

We spent part of an afternoon exploring Captain Jack's Stronghold, a sort of natural fortification in the lava landscape that a small band of Modoc natives used to hold off a US Army force that sometimes outnumbered them by 10 to 1 over several months in 1873.  Given all the nooks and crannies in the natural basalt ramparts, it's not surprising that this was possible.

We then drove around the remnants of Tule Lake, an important source of water for the natives in the area (being cut off from it was what eventually sealed the fate of Captain Jack and his band of Modoc)

to Petroglyph Point.  This formation was once an island

onto which natives carved petroglyphs roughly 500 years ago.

It is the largest petroglyph panel in these parts.

Of course, we had to look through the fence that is up to keep idiots from defacing the rock, but you could still see quite a lot.

Nim was happy to have a chance to run around aboveground for a change.

As we noted a few years ago on the Tour of the West, swallows seem to favor the same cliffs that the petroglyph artists did.

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