As I mentioned on Monday, our vacation included a day at Craters of the Moon National Park.
1. The area starts off with some routine Western grandeur. If you didn’t know there was a lava field in the area, you’d never guess it.
2. The boulders at our camp site were huge. We considered setting up our tents on top of a rocky knoll, but laziness got the better of us and we put them in front of the vehicle.
3. When we first saw the sign talking about cinder gardens, we thought they were talking about the trees. Nope. It’s the little, greenish-white patches of litchen.
4. This sucker is seriously deceptive. First, it’s a lot bigger than it looks. Second, it’s not a volcano. It’s a pile of cinders that piled up from a volcano a few miles away. The volcano itself is just a dinky little thing.
5. This is the view from about a quarter of the way up on the cinder pile.
6. These dinky little volcanoes are the source of that huge cinder pile.
7. Looks like a little snow on top of the rock, right? This is the inside of one of those volcanoes pictured above. The snow is apparently hundreds of years old. It never melts all the way. The rocks have fallen in on it from the walls of the volcano.
8. Apparently the volcanic activity was going on only a couple thousand years ago, but look how green it is already! For such a dry place, I’m amazed.
9. A particular area was filled with lava tube caves. We only went into one of the caves, as most of them weren’t exactly inviting. For instance, the ones the Boy Scouts favor requires crawling on your belly in places and splashing through water in others. We just read the sign, and gave it a pass.
10. There are extensive paths through the flow area. You can see lots of cracks and holes. Besides the caves, I mean.
11. Even the smaller rocks have holes in them.
12. Cave. I know it doesn’t look like much, but it’s about ten feet tall and a dozen wide.
13. Seems like it takes quite a while for any dead trees to decay there. We saw loads of them everywhere.
If you ever happen to be in Idaho, I recommend taking the detour to see this place. It’s quite interesting.