Today we reluctantly left our amazing Shabbos camping location at Magic Reservoir and drove North and East to Craters of the Moon National Monument. The monument preserves a number of lava flows, the youngest of which are about 2,000 years old. We first visited the spatter cones:
Looking down into the spatter cone:
The terrain is other-worldly, and was used for lunar surface training for the Apollo astronauts:
We hiked up to view a couple larger cinder cones:
Pumice is highly aerated, so it’s much lighter than you might expect. Some pumice even floats!
Looking into another spatter cone:
Next we drove out to the trailhead for a lava cave:
We explored a short section. The kids are off to the left exploring a tight little side passage:
In the visitor center parking lot, Trish befriended our neighbor:
The kids completed their Junior Ranger books and received their patches:
While Trish made a late lunch, I took the kids to another trailhead for a short hike:
It’s easy to imagine the lava flowing across the land:
Eventually, wind-borne soils settle into crevasses and plants begin to grow:
This 3” long praying mantis blended right in:
After leaving the monument, we drove South and West to overnight at a truck stop in Bliss, Idaho. See the trip map for driving details.
Update: The kids produced a podcast for today’s adventure: