Monday, June 18, 2012

From Craters to Crags ~ May 29, 2012

About 3 hours east of Boise on Hwy 20 we discover Craters of the Moon National Preserve. Time for a break and a picnic. 

Between 15,000 and 2,000 years ago, the Craters of the Moon Lava fields formed during eight major eruptive periods and grew to almost 620 square miles. The region experiences basin and range faulting, which stretches or pulls apart the crust. The Lost River Range north of the town of Arco provides good evidence that these forces are still active. In 1983 there was a magnitude 6.9 earthquake, during which Mount Borah rose about 1 foot and the Lost River Valley in that vicinity dropped about 8 feet. And we think things rock and roll around the San Francisco Bay Area!

There are cinder cones and lava fields all round us; wild flowers, lichens and a few tenacious trees bring spring color to the immense sea of black in the high desert sagebrush. After a bite to eat, we check out the visitors center and some of the local history, but we have another 4 hours to reach our destination, so we're soon back on the road. Next time we're here we'll plan on some hiking. Had to have this postcard to frame. The creator is author Ilan Shamir.

We reach our destination in late afternoon. Just south of the west entrance to Yellowstone there's a 6 mile dirt road that takes you out to Henry's Lake and the Red Rock RV Park. We're within walking distance of the lake and out in the middle of nowhere. These are our favorite kind of spots, quiet but for bird song and the wind in the trees. Another delightful place to anchor for a few days. We set up and head down to the lake.

Back to camp for a dinner of sauteed vegetables, boca burgers and potatoes and few games of cribbage. With sundown comes a serenade from the resident Sandhill Cranes and the promise of some weather.

Tomorrow we're headed to Yellowstone and the Tetons for a day trip in the Honda. In spite of our expensive learning curve, we're glad we brought it along. We have much more flexibility to explore now.