Here in Modoc County, in the volcanic badlands south of Medicine Lake, countless vents poured out long reefs of tumbled lava, like the rubble of bombed cities. There are no streams here, only scattered rain-filled ponds at the bottom of volcanic sinks. The sparse pines with their tall, bare trunks are the few survivors of the 1977 Scarface fire. The ground is so full of lava that planting new trees is impractical. But once, In the early years of the last century this forest was logged by rail, the flat berm that crosses the picture just this side of the trees is an old logging railroad grade, minus the tracks and ties. Now hundreds of miles of these gently drivable old gravel roads crisscross the lava wasteland and its slowly regenerating forest.