Vacation: Alturas to Weed via Tule Lake

Today was primarily a day of checking out Lava Beds National Monument. I was tired of lugging the camera around, so there are no photos.

From Alturas we backtracked to Canby and took 139 towards Tule Lake. We took the back way into the Lava Beds, stopping at a couple of geocaches near interesting lava features. I don’t think we saw anyone else while in this remote part of the park. After stopping at the visitor center, we went into a couple of the numerous lava tubes. Frankly, we weren’t too interested. We’ve been in several long lava tubes in Bend, OR, and one lava tube cave seems much like the others.

On the way north out of the National Monument, we hiked around a couple of locations where the Modoc War of 1873 occurred. After years of disagreements and skirmishes, Modoc leaders were meeting with U.S. peace commissioners on April 11, 1873. After discussions were fruitless, the Modocs turned on the commissioners and killed most of them. This location is now marked by Canby’s cross. A couple of miles away, we hiked through Captain Jack’s Stronghold, an area of natural lava ridges, cracks, depressions, and caves. It provided the Modocs a very strong defensive position. In a fight at this location a couple of months before the ill-fated peace negotiation, the Modocs killed 35 soldiers while taking no casualties. There was a predictable eventual outcome, of course. The Modocs lost.

Farther north we stopped for a roadside geocache and discovered the site of a POW camp used by Italian and German prisoners during WWII. It is not open to tour, but does have a small descriptive sign.

We followed the California-Oregon border west to highway 97 and took that back to Weed and our motel for the evening.

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