Sunday, September 15, 2013

South on 395

Leaving John Day, OR, we got on US 395 which we intend to follow for hundreds of miles.  We won't even need the GPS!  After our normal ~100 miles, we stopped in a BLM campground on Chickahominy Reservoir.

It seems we moved from the land of fossils to the land of obsidian.  As I'm sure you know, obsidian was used by the Native Americans for arrowheads and spear points.   Ron first noticed it in the campground (in the gravel fill, of all places.)  On the map we noticed a Glass Butte nearby so we went to investigate.  Although we didn't get to the actual butte, the obsidian was all over the ground.

You might mistake it for an ordinary rock.

But if a piece is chipped off, the black volcanic glass just shines.

I picked up a couple for the garden at home and Ron intends to try his hand at knapping (the process of shaping stone tools or weapons through repeated forceful blows to break or chip away the stone.)

After our stay at the reservoir, we continued south past some some curious pronghorn.

We thought we were really in the desert when we passed these sand dunes.

Lake Abert is billed as the largest salt lake in Oregon.  I don't know how many salt lakes there are in Oregon, but this one covers 63 square miles when full.  Unfortunately, the water level is down and looks like it has been for awhile.

The road runs between the lake and Abert Rim, a 30-mile long, 2500-foot high fault escarpment.

We picked a sno-park outside of Lakeview, OR, for our home for a few days.  While there, I think I found the hole in the ozone.


  1. That was interesting about using obsidian as arowheads as flint was used in Europe, which was formed in a similar way. Its was also knapped, and I didn't realise how popular knapping is until I reasd your post and did some research. I'll follow your route on Google Earth.

  2. The obsidian is beautiful, good luck to Ron on his flint Knapp. That last photo is AWESOME, Love it!!

  3. Don't know how fast you are moving down 395, but we will be near Hot Creek for at least another week, then on to Horton Creek BLM near Bishop for a couple more weeks. Maybe we can meet up with you along the way!

  4. We watched someone flint knapping at Casa Grande Ruins, one year. It is fascinating. Be sure to show us how he does. And tell him to be careful, the pieces of rack really fly.

  5. I'm quite an expert at napping and I don't need a rock to do it... :cD

  6. If Ron enjoys flint knapping then I would be happy to send him some novaculite. Myself, I prefer to leave off the "k."