I know you have seen fire..
Craters of the Moon National Monument Travel Blog› entry 86 of 90 › view all entries
This visit took several months before it finally transpired!!
Dad and I were delivering Tower bases to Idaho Falls last Spring when I first learned of this interesting national monument. I saw the road signs for it all along the Interstate and noticed the rough lava terrain throughout the area. My interests were definitely seized by what little I had seen and read online. Unfortunately the state of Idaho requires my father to need a pilot car escort, me, while running on two lane roads, even when empty. I was then unable to take a full day off to explore the park as I had wished. Instead I would painfully pass by evidence of the park/ lava landscape along Interstate 15, feeling somewhat annoyed with work. Grrrr!
Now we are delivering towers to a little wind farm located South of the Craters of the Moon Park, not to far from Twin Falls! And, due to our permitted route, we pass by the park itself! From the Highway the view was amazing!! Never had I had such trouble staying on the road.
Imagine this! The blues of distant mountains juxtaposed against a foreground of rich black lava fields crashing into gentle golden hills. Could you see yourself sitting still for even a lone moment with this magnificent view in front of you? I doubt it! :P
When we delivered the next morning, I quickly said my goodbyes to my father, with promises to meet him in Idaho Falls, and head immediately back to the Park.
I expected more of a museum from the Information center, but I was still satisfied with the display and learned all about the various types of basalt lava rocks that could be found in the park. My favorite were the tree molds! I saw a few from a scenic pull over prior to my visit and noticed that they had a tree like textures.
Inside the park I visited three of the seven trails. The two I wanted most to visit were closed due to construction of new roads, but found the other footpaths to satisfy my craving for the time being.
The first path was a simple loop around a beautiful and young flow of lava rocks. Easy for people with physical limitations to navigate and perfect for young children.. The path was a good introduction to the various types of lava that will be found at the park. I quickly walked the path and then immediately set out for a more advance trail.
The second trail was a short but steep hike up Inferno Cone, a volcanic cinder cone made of black basalt fragments, or cinders, that were ejected from a single vent.
-- so Amazing that I made the hike twice!! Yep thats right twice! After seeing the rest of the park I decided that Inferno Cone was where I wanted to be for the Sunset!! It was a good choice! :):) --
I was tempted to remain where I was until nightfall, but there were two other trails that I really wanted to check out as well.
The trail looked so simple when you first step onto it. A paved path through a field of impressive sculptural lava rocks. It looked like a larger version of the first trail in the loop. But it was more!! Beneath the surface were several caves and one large tunnel!
I explored one small cave called "Dew Drop Cave" located with in a circler shaped crater. Above was kinda warm for a November day but peacefully cool inside a light din of water drops.. It was a simple little cave and it gave me simple joy.
Not too far away was an even more impressive cave or what is referred to as Indian Tunnel.
This tunnel/ Lava Tube had significant spiritual meaning for the ancient Shoshone Tribe. There isn't much known about what the Shoshone community used the tunnel for in the sense of ceremonial practices. Most of THAT knowledge has been lost over the past few centuries.
Inside the tunnel was cool, much like the Dew Drop Cave, and well lit from the circler holes in the ceiling. I don't know if the ceiling holes were natural or man made. They were impressive to look up into.
At the end of the day, after the sunset, I ventured out of the park and headed East to Idaho Falls to meet up with my father.. We thought we were heading to Fargo for another tower; but according to rumors work is halting for a couple of weeks due to quality issues of some towers...
Looks like I am heading to Baton Rouge soon! :)