For my Mom’s last stop we traveled to Arco, Idaho! Wasn’t really sure what to expect besides the fact that it was in the middle of nowhere. Their claim to fame is that they were the first town ever powered by nuclear energy. Pretty cool, this area has a long history of positive nuclear use and the Idaho National Laboratories takes up most of the land here. Apparently, near by Atomic City has an interesting museum that we would have visited had we had time.
But our main focus was Craters of the Moon National Monument. It’s unlike any place I’ve ever been!
Craters of the Moon was formed some 15000 years ago when magma spewed from the earth and lava ran over the land creating this insane landscape that we see today. We read and heard all the information. We learned about different lava flows, different ways magma is released and the past, present and future of the area! I’m no geologist so I won’t bother sharing it! You will just have to visit for yourself!
We spent two days at Craters of the Moon!
Our first stop on day 1 was the Visitor Center. We got our map, our cave pass, formation information and some souvenirs.
Then it was off to our first little hike up Inferno Cone! It was pretty great! You could see for miles from the top!
We made a quick stop at Spatter Cone. There were tons of these types of cones all across the park! And they all have a hole in the center where the magma was at one time shooting out!
Our next hike was North Crater Trail and whew! was it a tough one! Lots and lots of steep inclines but again the views were incredible and I would even say otherworldly. It really is like what I have in my mind for the moon, minus all the green. The astronauts even practiced in their suits here before the real thing!
That was it for day one because that 5 mile hike wore us right out!
On the way home stopped by the local A & A Market and then went home to have a nice dinner of leftovers!
Day 2 we headed back to the park to check out the few remaining trails!
First we went to Devil’s Orchard. It got its name 100 years ago from a minister who saw all the grotesque rock and twisted trees and and responded by saying it was, “a garden fit for a devil”. I love dead, twisted trees so enjoy!
This was an interpretive trail which discussed the balance between the enjoyment of natural spaces and the need to protect them. We all know that most of the time enjoyment and protection are at odds but they don’t have to be. This most often can be rectified through education about the fragility of the area and about the need to preserve it for the future. It was all highly informational. But then there are just some stupid people who disregard everything 🙄
There were also several thought provoking quotes about this balance throughout the trail which I will be sharing over my next several posts.
Our other stop of the day was at the caves!! The caves are actually collapsed lava flow tubes! So cool to walk through an area that once had lava flowing through it! My mom and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Highly recommend spending two days at this park! It is incredibly easy to navigate , the signage is great, tons of information and all the rangers were so helpful! Beautiful place!
#95 – My mom just left! So thankful she was able to join me for such a long and good time! I love sharing new experiences with her!
#96 – I just love this campground we are at. The vibe is so friendly and every Thursday – Sunday they serve dinner at their cafe. The owner cooks it and then we all eat it! I love small towns with great communities!
“As crude a weapon as the cave man’s club, the chemical barrage has been hurled against the fabric of life.”