We received a report of racoons invading my mother-in-law's house (they are now at their winter quarters). I was off work today so we decided to check it out and do a little exploring of a place we haven't been to yet on the way home.
The house was fine, though we did clean out the fridge of the rotten/rotting food.
On the way home we decided to check out a place called Boyd Cave, just southeast of Bend. It is easy to find. From Hwy 97 take the Knott Road exit (towards the Deschutes County Dump). Then take China Hat Road east. Eventually the road turns into a Forest Service road. Keep going on that and after a short while you will see the signs to the Boyd Cave. (On Google Earth the coordinates are: 43 °56'31.81"N 121°11'53.85"W (elevation 1307 meters.)
After turning off the paved road it's a short drive to a small loop that curves back into the dirt road. At first we thought we'd have to hike because the entrance is not obvious. We parked and followed the trail. It's only about twenty yards to the cave entrance from the loop.
Boyd Cave entrance. Notice our truck is parked at the loop, so not far at all.
At the bottom of the stairs is a little map showing the layout of the cave.
Off we go into the cave.
Boyd Cave resident.
The only one we saw.
The cave is about 1800 feet long. It was created by a lava tube.
Heading back to the entrance.
Back to daylight!
We didn't go all the way to the end but we would like to go back with better lighting. There is also another cave (Skeleton Cave) nearby which we would like to take a gander at.
It is extremely dark so if you go make sure you bring a lantern and a backup flashlight, just in case. The temperature wasn't too cold but it was cool. I suspect as with most of these type of caves the temperature probably remains fairly constant, maybe around 55°. The footing is rough in spots: I would not bring my mother-in-law there. For the most part the ceiling is pretty high but there is a spot or two where you need to watch your head. We did not have to crawl though!