Als ich wisse das Morgen der Erde enden wuerde, immernoch wurd ich mein Apfelbaum pflanzen.

Even if I knew the world would perish tomorrow, I would still plant my apple tree. - Martin Luther

"Factory work's easier on the back, and I don't mind it, understand, but a man becomes what he does. Got to watch that. That's why I keep at farmin' although the crops haven't ever throve. It's the doin' that's important." Madison Wheeler in Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Craters of the Moon

This time of year I want to pack up and head out.  The destination isn't really all that important - I just get the drive to drive.  I find myself feeling very jealous when I see RVs heading down the highway.  They're off to new and interesting adventures, and I'm on the meal making, lesson teaching, kid activity running cycle.

When I walked past the camper this evening, and gave a small sigh,  I realized that although we're not going anywhere this summer, I still haven't shared all of last summer's adventures.  Maybe this summer I'll travel back through my memory.

When we left Golden Spike we headed to Craters of the Moon National Monument.  We thought this would be an interesting stop over on our way to the West coast.  But, it turned out to be one of those places we wished we had more time to explore.

Craters of the Moon had a wonderful visitor's center where the kids really got a first hand look at how volcanic activity happens.  Then, we headed out on a driving tour with short hikes where we learned about the formation of different kinds of lava (ah-ah, pahoehoe, lava bombs) and different kinds of volcanoes (cinder cones, shield volcanoes, etc.).  We also learned that there were lava tubes we could explore.  We made plans to return in the morning when we were better prepared with headlamps and flashlights.  We also made plans to join a ranger hike where we could learn even more about this unique place.

We fully enjoyed our visit to Craters of the Moon.  The campground was tidy, and had great natural places in the lava formations for the kids to hide and play.  The staff was outstanding and friendly; we learned so much in our short visit.  We were very sorry to leave, and stayed much longer than anticipated.  We'll be headed back there the next time we venture west.

Trying to look like they're about to get blown off the cinder cone.

Lava tube entrance

Hiking up the cinder cone

Pahoehoe (rope like) lava

Ah-Ah lava (sharp and brittle)

In the lava tube

See the lava drips?  Lava tubes are formed when some of the lava cools and the rest runs through it like a river.