The first fun was a week rafting Idaho's Middle Fork of the Salmon River with a small group of treasured family and friends. Awesome. I can't imagine a better river experience. Blog coming.
Next was a solo visit to the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in Idaho, the subject of this post.
A collapsed lava tube in the Indian Tunnel cave at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve.
At the festival's end, the two of us meandered back to Oregon on a serendipitous road trip in my camper van. (It belongs to PK as well, but he didn't happen to be with us. It was mine, all mine. And Charla's, of course.) Words and photos about the road trip may show up in this space.
But for now, just this — Craters of the MoonGetting to Craters of Moon National Monument and Preserve may involve ripping your tires off Idaho's I-84, where the speed limit almost matches the interstate number, as travelers zip between Idaho's east/west borders.
If you have a flexible schedule, and are up for a unique diversion, peel north off the Interstate onto one of the two-lane roads that will intersect with highways 20, 26, and 93. All the same road. Craters of the Moon is worth the time and effort.
What's so good about it?
|TRAILS I took advantage of a few short hikes before I tackled a lava tube cave. This short but steep trail up a cinder cone led to an overlook, but also a collapsed lava tube with some surprising detritus.|
AND MORE TRAILS
Short trails were good but I was most interested in exploring one of the three caves. A ranger, answering the same questions over and over at the visitors' center, said the most extensive and interesting cave was Indian Tunnel. I went there.
|BEAUTY! Why was I surprised by all the colors and textures in the cave?|
|A MODEST ADVENTURE I carried a flashlight but didn't need to use it.|
Having natural light made all the difference to a novice spelunker.
|There it is - the end! Actually, it was easier than it looks. |
No crawling involved. A little climbing required, however.
|Now they tell me! I expected the exit to be close|
to the paved trail. But no.
|Following the markers to the paved trail was fun and took my mind off of being so thirsty. It took about 20-25 minutes to reach the parking lot and my water bottle.|