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Sunday, February 7, 2016

18 hours on a volcano - "we heard gunfire and explosions"

 East of Newberry Springs and on our way to the volcano.
Inside the volcano.
 We sighted a familiar Jeep at the end of the parking lot. Looked like my friend Dave saw the Facebook post about the trip and drove out ahead of us.
 That meant more fun for the spelunkers because Dave had marked several of the best tubes with hockey stick flags.
 After exploring the first tube together the group spread out and disappeared underground.
 Just before sunset all the spelunkers reported back to the parking lot and checked out with Jan. We moved to the other side of the volcano, set up camp, prepared dinner and watched the sun set.
Dave joined us for grilled cheese sandwiches.
 While eating our second round of grilled cheese we heard gunfire and explosions to the South. Then Dave spotted flares in the sky. None of this was unusual because the northern boundary of Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command 29 Palms was only a few miles South of our location.
 After several hours of conversation Dave bade us farewell and began his drive home.
 I set up my tripod and photographed Ursa Major over our camp.
 Our game camera captured me preparing for a hike in the morning. The time was actually 7:05 because the camera was still set to Daylight Savings Time.
 Bosco was ready to go.
 We hiked into unfamiliar territory to the Southwest of the volcano.
 A flow frozen in time.
 Interestingly we did not discover any tubes on this side of the volcano but did find this small cave.
 After an hour of exploring we turned around and hiked back to camp.
 We broke camp after breakfast and started for home.

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