Monday, August 30, 2010

Jason Conquers The Craters of the Moon

Well actually Jason AND Rebecca, but I only have visual proof of Jason doing the conquering.  This is maybe my favorite picture I have taken of Jason EVER! And to think he was not posing.  Actually I told him right after I took the picture about how cool it was and then he started trying to pose, which did not yield nearly as good results.  ANTM material he is not!  
The Craters of the Moon National Monument is in Idaho, and we stopped there on our way to Oregon this summer.  It was one of those spontaneous stops where we were looking at the map, saw that we were about to drive by it and thought, "hey, with a name like that we HAVE to stop and check it out!"  I've never noticed it on the map because usually we take I-80 through Idaho and this is off of Highway 26.  We took Highway 26 because we had decided to drive through Yellowstone, and thus ended up more North than the interstate.  A whim lead us there and I'm glad it did!  On the way to Craters of the Moon on Highway 26 you have to drive through a bunch of nothingness, but it was a little more interesting than other areas of nothingness because it is a Nuclear reactor testing site called the Idaho National Laboratory.  In the middle of all this is a little town called Atomic City, which through 1950's era neon lights proclaimed it to be the first city to be powered by nuclear power.  It all seemed very mysterious, with lots of dirt roads locked down with really big gates.  Intriguing! 
I would describe Craters of the Moon as a vast area of hardened lava flows with caves underneath.  This tour guide described it as "bla de bla bla bla.  Bla."  Etc.  He was probably the most boring tour guide ever in existence, and unfortunately we had a hard time escaping because we were the first ones to join the group and he took the time to learn our names and home towns.  Eventually, we were able to ditch the group and we explored the caves on our own.
 The caves themselves were very nice in particular because it was a very hot day and inside the caves it is very cool.
We imagined that it would be a good place for fugitives from the law to hide out.  Only a small area of the monument is accessible by paved trails and I bet there are tons of these little caves everywhere.  It would take forever for someone to notice you!  I'm taking a mental note of this.  
  We only went in the caves that didn't require crawling.  Jason was tempted, but I think the sharp lava and no protective gear deterred him.  Some were pitch black, and that was pretty neat! 
We also climbed up this massive hill of loose lava rocks.  That is a PERSON on the hill, that is how massive this hill is.  But silly us, when confronted with a challenge, we just can't resist!!  
The view from the top was... nice... Neither of us admitted it at the time, but I think it was kind of not worth it.  I was definitely huffing and puffing a little by the time we reached the top.  Did I mention it was a hot day?
  The view from this angle was slightly better.  But still not worth it.  


  1. Well, at least you both enjoyed the adventure even if the view was not quite the trouble!

  2. You guys are the best cross-country travelers ever! I'd never have known about any of these cool stops you made.

  3. The Idaho National Laboratory does a lot of alternative energy research (nuclear, biofuels, wind, etc.) Here's a site that has a lot of information about the lab's projects.

  4. That is neat, htomfields, thanks for posting the info on my blog!

  5. Definitely a great pic of Jason NOT posing...see, I so could not do that! lol
    Terrific pictures all around though!

  6. Dearest Rebecca,
    Please can you give me your address so I can send you a fabulous giant jaw-breaker and some pixie sticks. Then when you're flying from the sugar, you could swing by, pick me up, and take me to Disneyworld!

  7. Stunning place to be... looks so peaceful. :)