The Craters of the Moon National Monument is a vast landscape of dried lava flows. Surreal and eerie - I loved it. David, being more of a bucolic countryside person, thought it could have done with a good landscape gardener - level the whole lot off, bring in a couple of thousand truckloads of soil and plant a nice lawn with neat rows of flowers.
|Climbing an ash cone - it's a lot further to the top than it looks.|
|Life on the edge - at the top of the ash cone.|
Once again the National Park Service has struck a balance between preserving the landscape and encouraging people to visit. There is a seven mile scenic road winding its way through the monument with lots of places to get out of the car and walk across the lava. D and I found struggling fields of wildflowers, climbed ancient ash cones and explored a lava tube cave. The cave was especially fun. It wasn't very deep but was about 800 yards (or metres - take your pick they're much the same) long. Even with our map and $1.50 torch (flashlight) purchased at Walmart we weren't at all sure that we could find our way out without re-tracing our steps. After half an hour of scrabbling over rocks we finally discovered the tiny exit.
|The exit to our cave from the inside.|
|The exit to our cave from the outside.|
|It does look a bit like the surface of the moon.|
In case anyone is wondering, we still have our bikes. It has been a bit hot lately to do any serious biking although we have done a few short cycles. Today we cycled along the rim of the Snake River Canyon. Remember Evel Knievel? In 1974 he tried to jump the 3/4 mile (1.2 km) canyon in a steam powered rocket. He failed but landed with only minor injuries. You can still see the take-off ramp at the jump site.
|Snake River Canyon|
|Shoshone Falls - Snake River Canyon|
Useful link: - http://www.nps.gov/crmo/index.htm
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For the next post in this series click - here
For all my posts on this road trip click - here
25 June 2013