Monday, August 4, 2014

August 3, 2014 - Craters of the Moon & Picabo

Craters of the Moon National Monument is out of this world. Actually, it is in the high desert of south-central Idaho. It contains, among other things, a huge rift zone and lots of black lava. The surface of this ancient dried lava can be 150 degrees F when the air is 100 degrees; the hottest recorded temp was 178.

Randy visited here 28 years ago, not in July. Summer is not the best time for hiking around here! It was hot when we arrived at the Visitor Center, and we enjoyed cooling off in the air-conditioned theater while watching the 2 short movies about the Monument and its history. Then we headed off for our first stop - the picnic table at  Devil's Orchard for lunch, then the hike through this interesting terrain.

Right - some of the lava rocks and limber pines on the Devil's Orchard hike.

Below - giant Bret measures Reed & Randy in the distance.

 We took a short hike up the splatter cones - try to spot Bret on the trail. We were beginning to think we were on 150 degree hot lava.

Later we joined Ranger Holly and other visitors on the Cave Hike, in which we climbed down into "Indian Tunnel Cave." During that hike, the wind picked up and beautiful clouds came over us, providing a comforting block from the sun and making the air much more agreeable.
After the boys were awarded their Junior Ranger badges, we drove westward out of Craters to the small hamlet of Picabo, where we were treated to a fabulous feast by Rose & Ted, Bryn's former co-workers from the Santa Monica Mountains. Benjamin & Mariah did a nice job of entertaining the boys. After dinner, we walked all around seeing the sites of Picabo. It was a very enjoyable evening. We stayed in the RV park right down the street from their house.

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