In May we visited Lava Beds NM with a few friends.
We drove out to the visitor center first, to see what we should see and do. As soon as we entered, the ranger at the front desk asked us if we had ever been in another cave. We had, and so did one other person. Then he asked if we had been wearing the same clothes we had worn into another cave. We hadn’t and no one else had either. He said “good”, then explained why he had asked us the questions.
Apparently white-nose bat syndrome is becoming a big problem in all the National Parks with caves. White-nose bat syndrome is harmless to people, but it has killed over 6 million bats. Caused by a fungus, it damages the bats wing membranes, so that they cannot fly and catch food. It also covers the bats nose and wing tips with a white fungus, making it hard to breath or fly. It gets transferred on peoples clothes and shoes.
But caves are not the only aspect of the park. It was also the site of the Modoc war between the Modoc people and milita men. The Modoc people didn’t want to move to the Klamath Reservation in Oregon.The Modoc people hid in the lava formation which we hiked through with our friends. Eventually the Modoc people had to give up because they ran out of food. We also visited Petroglyph Point. The petroglyphs there were made when this area was an island in the Tule Lake.
We learned a lot at this park, and I am happy we went with our friends