Lava Beds National Monument is one place we had never been, even though we have been by this way several times before. It is similar to other lava beds we have been to before. We decided to stay a couple of nights to see all the caves. This National Park has dozens and dozens of lava cave to explore. Most of them are for real caver's. We did go into 3 caves. Two were supposed to be "easy". But Susan's knees and her lack of balance make even those a challenge. There was plenty of places you had to climb up big rocks and also loose ones. Not much of the floor was nice and smooth like in one of the pictures I posted. We went in a "intermediate" cave by accident. We did about half the cave. We quit when I saw where we had a 20 foot drop down a 45 degree incline. If we had slid down that we'd still be in that cave today.
We didn't do any of the hiking trails the park has to offer because we were tired from the caves. We did go over to a place that the Modoc Indians carved stuff on this big rock. The carvings are called petroglyphs. Quite a bit of vandalism went on until they put a fence around the carvings.
Abutting the park is Lake Tule. In history, the lake used to be much larger. As the lake receded from drought the Modoc Indians went over to the big rock in canoes and did their carving thing. Later, the indians used this area to fight the Army. The US wanted the indians on a reservation so we could steal their land. Of course the Army wanted to cramp 3 tribes onto the same reservation. The Modocs didn't want to be on the same reservation as their indian enemies. Of course, the Army won and they ended up either being hanged or put on a reservation. Eventually, the Army moved them to Oklahoma.
After the Indian war, we drained most of the Lake Tule for farming and used the headwaters to supply water to the farm land. Today, the area around the lake is a wetlands and a refuge for all kinds on animals, but mainly birds.