craters of the moon national monument.

once again, i find myself a wee bit behind in the bloggy part of my life. about a week ago, we left our parking lot accomodations, neighboring the airport in boise idaho, to head for craters of the moon national monument.

upon arrival, our first order of business was to get some info and pick up our junior ranger books at the visitor center. just outside the entrance was a map where we could show off our roots with a carefully placed pushpin. anna did the honors.

once we had our books in hand and a map and a bit of info, we were off. there’s pretty much a loop around the main lava flow areas, with spots where you can get out and hike a bit. we tried to strategically plan which hikes to do, using a complicated formula of distance, coolness factor, time of day, and level of whininess. therefore, at the first stop, we decided to just take some pics and keep moving along the loop.

the second stop (i think?) was called devil’s orchard. we hopped out to do the half-ish mile nature walk.

lots of cool lava rocks.

up close and personal.

the walk was filled with giant hunks of lava rocks, sticking out in different formations. so far, so good. no one was crying.

our next stop was the inferno cone. it’s a short, but steep hike up an old cinder cone covered in a sort of lava gravel.

the top offered some pretty cool views of the entire craters of the moon park.

it was windy up there.

derek took this pic of a bit of volcano rock.

and. back down.

another photo shoot.

after the inferno cone, we went to the “snow cone and spatter cones” area. we were able to walk around and up to peer into the cones of old volcanic formations. first the snow. aptly named.

and then one of the spatter cones.

we had high hopes of hiking out about two miles to some caves, but everyone was pretty worn down at this point. (long travel day, hot temps, several mini hikes in the books). so, we just took some pictures of the cool lava fields and went back to the visitor center.

the kids finished up their workbooks in the camper and we went in to become official junior rangers. we were unable to talk isaac into wearing a space helmet. or his vest. he’s toooo cooool.

we totally loved the black and silver badge for craters of the moon. and we were able to turn in the solar eclipse workbook we had printed out to get the eclipse explorer badges.

after our visit, we decided to check out the campground for availability. there were no sites left that would fit our camper, so anna and i busted out the tent for a night of tent camping, while derek, isaac and hazel went down the road a bit, to a truckstop for the night.

anna had a blast climbing all over the lava rock piles in the campground.

she’s always a fan of getting to the top. i’m always a fan for backlight sun photos.

we found a couple of spots where previous campers had built forts from the rocks, so i sat and read while anna worked on making them better. 🙂

we were hopeful that the sky would stay clear and we would get a good dark sky view of the stars, but it was getting late and clouds rolled in, so we went to bed. i started to fall asleep, but anna was struggling. the mobile home in the next site was watching a tv show with very loud guns and shouting. it was not cool. i decided to get out and investigate, only to discover that the clouds had departed and we had a view of thousands of stars and we could even see the milky way!! we decided to take the cover off the tent, so we could sleep under the stars (and some tent mesh). that meant that as soon as the sun peeked over the mountains, we were jolted wide awake. well. i was. anna snoozed on…

when she did wake from her beauty sleep, we quickly packed up camp, ate a clif bar, and got on the road, to meet up with the rest of the lidbom rambling road show. and get coffee.

2 Replies to “craters of the moon national monument.”

  1. Great mother-daughter adventures!

  2. So.Incredibly.Cool.

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