The Stories We Could Tell

Walking on the Moon

Who needs Disneyland when you can go to the moon? Well at least Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho. We went there today and really did feel like we were actually on the moon, minus the zero gravity. The creation of craters began 15,000 years ago when lava flowed from long fissures along the Snake River Plain. The most recent eruption occurred 2,000 years ago and geologists expect more events in the future. For now the barren landscape created by the lava flow is stunning. The most exciting part was climbing through the caves created by lava tubes (lava hardens on the outside but remains hot and fluid on the inside resulting in a cave – once the lava stops flowing inside of course). Our first stop was the Beauty Cave. We made our way down large lava rocks to the entrance of the cave… then proceeded into total darkness! Luckily we were well prepared: James had a headlamp and I had a flashlight. It was still a bit spooky and really hard to see, let alone navigate the rocky grounds. Once fully inside the cave, the temp drops over 30 degrees. James even discovered ice in a crack in the ground. It only took about 100 yards to make it to the end of the cave, but in the pitch black made it feel much further.

Although our sense of adventure was peaked, we couldn’t bring ourselves to venture into the Boy Scout Cave. The entrance to this cave is so tiny you have to shimmy though sort of on your back. We snapped a pic of two brave gents heading in. One man told me his wife’s name and gave me a message to deliver to her should he not make it out alive. He was kidding (I think) but that just goes to show how harrowing the conditions looked!

Our next stop was the Indian Tunnel. Natural light filters through this cave so we didn’t need our flashlights. This cave was much bigger than the Beauty Cave, but still required some fancy climbing and maneuvering through the lava rock. Fun and beautiful… our trip to the moon was way better than Disneyland!!!


July 22, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

1 Comment »

  1. We only stayed here 1 night and had to close ourselves up tight in the motorhome because of high winds. After the storm, there was black ash and soot all over the outside of the mh but also it had seeped through the cracks into the motorhome. We had to do housecleaning. Yuk! Did you hear the story from the Shoshones that a huge snake (now the Snake River) had coiled itself around the rocks and squeezed them until they erupted, causing the lava flows?

    Comment by Jamey | July 24, 2010 | Reply

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