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Less than a 100-mile travel day today, just the way we like it.

We are still making our way across Idaho and have planned a visit to another National Monument site, our 18th since hitting the road back in 2018.

This one has a very unique landscape, some say it looks other worldly. After seeing it first hand we would have to agree.

Even without reading the small sign on the edge of the road welcoming you into the park it wasn't too hard to tell when we had arrived.

One minute we're looking at mountains and water off to the lefthand side of the road...

...and the next it's mountains and lava rock off the righthand side of the road.

It wasn't much longer before we were searching out the best campsite for our two night visit here. All sites are First-Come-First-Serve and we were just glad we didn't arrive and find the campground full. We had plenty to choose from since we arrived around 11:00AM and more than half the sites were empty.

Site #36 suited us just fine. A pullthrough site amongst the lava rocks.

Our own little landing pad for THE POD at Craters of the Moon.

With only two days to visit here we wasted no time unhitching ROVER from THE POD to begin our exploration.

At the very moment we disconnected ROVER officially became "LUNAR ROVER" for the next 48-hours.

Thirty minutes after arriving we were inside the Visitor Center, getting my Passport Book stamped and checking out all the information available for our visit. We then signed up for a Ranger led walk the next morning at 10:30AM.

There is a scenic loop drive that wanders through the Monument and that was the first thing we did, just to check out all the different opportunities for our visit.

Not too far into the drive Tricia was already out of LUNAR ROVER and hoofing it, or should I say huffing it, up the side of a formation called the Inferno Cone. I waitied in the truck!

Don't worry I'm just saving myself for an even better hike the next day.

OK, enough talk, it's time for the photos.


It was a stark contrast between the lava rocks and the trees.
This is the hike up the Inferno Cone that Trica did.
This is the look back towards the parking lot from halfway up.
Waiting at the top is this lava rock cairn. What does it look like to you?
Also at the top was this delicate looking little plant.
These formations are called Spatter Cones.
The lava rocks were covering most of the ground for miles in all directions.
This is the entrance to a collapsed lava tube. More on that tommorrow.
This short climb allowed us to peer down into a spatter cone.
There was even a natural arch formation in the spatter cone's exterior.
More spatter cones.
This is the beginning of our ¾-mile hike into the lava field.
A smaller collapsed lava tube opening along the trail.
Nope! Not big enough for me to fit into this one. Let's try another one.
This one looks more like it!
At the bottom of the stairs it's time to start scambling over the rocks.
This opening looks plenty big, 30-feet tall actually.
Look! There's even built in skylights.
There's Tricia halfway through the lava tube. I hesitate to call it a cave.
Looks like there could be a way out of here up ahead.
Nope! The tube takes a left hand turn here.
Tricia spied this little pack rat running around in the lava tube.
Could this be the way out? No again!
A closeup of the side of the lava tube.
This better be the way out because we're at a dead end!
YES! I managed to squeeze my way through the 4-foot round opening.
Now it's just a matter of following the pipes that lead back to the walkway.
That's one of the skylights we saw from inside the tube.
It's off to the races now. I spotted the walkway home.

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