Sunday, July 19, 2015

Visiting the Moon

Today is our second day in Idaho and we have the whole day free - Thomas doesn't have anything until 6:30pm tonight, so we decided to take a road trip. We left Boise around 7:00am and headed east on I84 and then took US20 towards Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve between Arco & Carey, ID. Along the way we stopped at AJ's Restaurant in Mountain Home. After eating we continued our drive to the park. Before reaching the park we stopped at an historical marker about Goodale's Cutoff to look for a letterbox. Unfortunately we didn't have any luck! So we got back in the car and made our way to the visitor center at Craters of the Moon. Here I got my Passport stamp and bought some postcards and a patch. Then we left the center and entered the park - we paid our fee and got a map of the park and started the loop drive. This park is amazing - a completely different landscape from anything I have seen before and the name is very appropriate. We made our first stop at the North Crater Flow. Here we took a 0.3 mile loop walk through the lava flows. I was amazed to find out that there are many different types of lave flows. Spindle Bomb, Tree Mold, Pahoehoe Toe, Aa Lava and Pahoehoe Ropes are just a few of the different flows. We completed our short walk and then got back in the car and made our way to Devil's Orchard where we took a 0.5 mile nature trail walk. Next we stopped at Inferno Cone, Spatter Cones and Big Craters Area. There was lots to see and learn at this spot and the views from several locations was amazing. First we did a steep 0.4 mile walk up to one of the cones where we got our first views. Then we took a very short walk to an observation area and then we walked about half a mile up the North Crater Trail to the top of a hill for more incredible views. After this we returned to the car and made our last stop at the Cave Area. The walk to the caves was about a mile roundtrip. There are four caves here - Dewdrop Cave, Boy Scout Cave, Beauty Cave and Indian Tunnel. We went to all except Indian Tunnel. We looked into the caves but didn't actually go in since you need a permit and a flashlight and we didn't have either. I did look for a few letterboxes but came up empty handed each time. Not sure if I just missed them or if they were gone. Anyway, we really enjoyed this park and we were glad we decided to take the 2 hour and 45 minute drive. Our trip back to Boise was uneventful as we were just trying to get back to the hotel so Thomas could make his reception. I just had a relaxing eventing in the room. Now time to get some rest so I can explore Boise tomorrow.

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