Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Craters of the Moon National Monument near Arco, Idaho

Sorry for such a short blog post on the Grand Tetons. They are worthy of so much more. But we have been traveling quickly and I've had little time to organize the photos and thoughts that go into this blog. We have now been on the road for about 5 weeks, and I'm finally getting around to catching up on what we did 4 weeks ago!

A couple of hours drive over the Rocky Mountains brings us into Idaho, a new state for all of us. They call it "The Gem State" and I can only assume that's because it has a high incidence of gem-quality minerals. It is mountainous, yet open meadow in a lot of places too. We focus on an area northwest of Pocatello (which always reminds me of Judy Garland, singing "Born in a Trunk" in the movie "A Star is Born" - yeah, I'm a 50s-60s musical buff).

Anyway, we're here to see the Craters of the Moon, a vast area of lava spewed forth beginning 15,000 years ago from a 52-mile (84-kilometre) series of deep fissures known as the Great Rift that cross the Snake River Plain..
It's almost unthinkable how life can exist in this place, but it does. This hearty little plant is about the size of my hand.
A close-up of some chunks of lava. Its surface is very rough. Here you can see the algae growing on it.
There are a few lava tubes in the park, but we don't explore them as our campground host convinces us to explore a much lesser known cave further to the north called Hidden Mouth Cave. And I'm glad he does as we have the place all to ourselves, although we are hiking in the rain and the trail is steep, muddy and difficult to find at times.

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