Photo by Zaron on Unsplash

Deserts, Volcanoes, Obsidian Seeking, And Crowds!

Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.; J.D.
6 min readAug 15, 2020


a pandemic vacation

Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

Of late, I had been feeling blah….sad….probably a bit depressed….having trouble getting anything done….etc….

I think it was my pandemic life catching up with me. I have worked at home for years, but I was never S.T.U.C.K. at home. My now infrequent trips to Costco are the highlights of my months. I live in a nice spot — on a river — and it’s summer — but even that river life lost its glimmer for me.

My daughter-in-law asked me what I’d like to do — and I said get away somewhere — go someplace other than Costco! She said she’d watch my pets and I should go the coast — I’d be treated to a vacation.

I thought about it and foresaw walking along the ocean [which I love to do] — but it mentally felt no different than walking along the river so I said thank you but not my thing — not now.

After a bit, I said what I’d really love to do is to go to the high desert and dig obsidian — but it was not a trip I wanted to do alone — especially in this pandemic time.

My daughter-in-law said she’d love to go do that with me and so we started planning our camping-digging-for-obsidian vacation. We figured what foods we wanted, packed extra water, lots of fruit, camping gear, boots — and layers of clothing.

I’ve never done this dig before — but it’s been on my mind since moving to Oregon. I’d been wanting to make wind chimes and other art pieces with the glass.

In previous years, I had fallen in love with western volcanos and on this trip, we were going to be near or on many volcanos.

photo by Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.

The vacation as it unfolded

Off we went — from Portland to Glass Butte!

Glass Butte volcanic area is a great area for gathering obsidian — it’s all over the place! The trip past Mt. Hood [a volcano I ski on] and on down toward…



Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.; J.D.

NYC native, snarky, happily aging, educated [with PhD and JD]- I write, I talk, I think, I opine, I teach — and will do so until I can’t.