12 June 2013 XXXVI
Khamsin Molossia News

On 8 – 10 June 2013 XXXVI, the Molossia Rangers embarked on their latest adventure, a trip to Lava Beds National Monument. This expedition was done in conjunction with the Molossian Institute of Volcanology, which is dedicated to the study and exploration of volcanoes and related geological activities. The Lava Beds is an enormous area of ancient volcanic activity, located in Northern California. Over a period of the last half-million years, volcanic eruptions on the Medicine Lake shield volcano have created a rugged landscape dotted with many interesting volcanic features including more than 700 lava tube caves, as well as Native American rock art sites, and an historic battlefield.

On the morning of 8 June the Rangers set out for the Lava Beds, traveling five hours north from Molossia to reach the park. The voyage included a brief stop in Alturas, California, the location of the former Molossian colony of Farfalla. While no longer a part of Molossia, the flagpole erected there eight years ago still stands, as does a short bridge built to reach the flagpole. This was a source of pride for His Excellency, The President who waxed poetic over the now defunct colony. Shortly thereafter the Rangers arrived in the remote community of Tionesta, where they set up Outpost Molossia at the Hawk’s Nest campground. The rest of that day was spent camping and preparing for the expedition to the Lava Beds.

The next morning, the team set out for the Lava Beds, arriving at about 10:30 AM MST. They quickly leapt into the main activity of the park, exploring the many lava tube caves. The Rangers first explored Mushpot Cave, a short lighted cave, ideal as an introduction to lava tubes. Then the team explored Golden Dome cave, Garden Bridges and then Catacombs Cave, where they narrowly avoided becoming lost by quick thinking and being observant. The last cave on the loop was Sentinal, after which they traveled further afield to Skull Cave, which has an ice floor and Merrill Cave which formerly had an ice floor. This was followed by an exploration of Fleener Chimneys, a series of spatter cones, and finally a journey to Captain Jack’s Stronghold, the bastion from which the Modoc Indians fought US troops during the 1872-1873 Modoc War.

Further expeditions were cancelled when the Ranger’s van developed engine trouble, which resulted in a tow truck ride to nearby Klamath Falls and a night there. The next day the Rangers set out for home, arriving back in Molossia late in the afternoon. This concluded a successful, although tumultuous, mission for our dauntless Rangers, with always more to come!

Visit the webpage of the Molossia Rangers here and the webpage of the Molossian Institute of Volcanology here.

Outpost Molossia,

Campfire Times.

Former Farfalla

Lava Beds Overview.

Ready for Caving.

Mushpot Cave.

Golden Dome Cave.

Garden Bridges

Crawling in
Catacombs Cave.

The Rangers in
Catacombs Cave.

Catacombs Cave.

More Crawling.

Inside Sentinal Cave.

Sentinal Cave Walkway.

Skull Cave.

Stairs Down
into Skull Cave.

Skull Cave Ice Floor.

Fleener Chimneys.

Fleener Chimneys.

Looking into
Fleener Chimneys.

Devil's Homestead
Lava Flow.

Hiking Captain
Jack's Stronghold.

Stronghold Wall.

Inside the Stronghold.

Medicine Pole.

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