When we headed up to Dee Wright Observatory in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday, I really had not done my homework. I was even relying on Google Maps to get me there (that was not my most brilliant move of the day).
They had just opened the roads the week before because of snow-pack, and believe me, they weren't heavily traveled. The road was narrow and twisty. It was complete darkness when we arrived, so I was pretty surprised to find us in the middle of a lava field when daylight finally arrived.
The observatory was built in 1935 by the Civilian Conversation Corp. Lava from the surrounding area forms the walls of the structure. Located at the top of McKenzie Pass, the skies were clear and we were able to pick out the top of Mt. Hood, 75 miles away.
Each window is strategically placed to view one of the mountain peaks. On top of the structure is a viewing platform allowing for a 360° view of mountains.
I'm glad we went, was really beautiful, although I wasn't expecting the baron wilderness of a 1500 year lava flow.